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New AVP Looking to Strengthen Community Ties with College

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

ClediaCledia Hernandez’s vision is simple.

“We’re here to serve the community,” Hernandez said. “We’re working for its success and to make residents more employable. This is a door for opportunity to them.”

Hernandez recently took over as the new associate vice president for Corporate and Community Education at Texas State Technical College. And the Brownsville native has hit the ground running.

Hernandez comes from the University of Texas-Brownsville, where she worked since she graduated from Hanna High School in 1999. She earned a Bachelor’s in Science at UTB but has worked in continuing education her whole professional career.

“I want TSTC’s Corporate and Continuing Education to be globally recognized,” Hernandez said. “We’re a state facility but I don’t want us to be restricted to just the state. I want us to compete with other institutions nationwide by providing a skilled workforce and creating better jobs for the community because of the skills they receive at TSTC.”

Hernandez studied health professions at Hanna and enrolled at UTB with the intention of going into the medical field. But a twist of fate for one of her uncles changed Hernandez’s mind.

“My uncle was very well off in Mexico,” she said. “From one day to the next, he lost his job and all his money. He told me he’d lost his job to a computer and asked me to become a computer programmer.”

Hernandez went on to study computer science but never worked in that industry. Instead she continued her work in continuing education.

“I’m a programmer by trade but not by nature,” Hernandez said. “I kind of did a 180 degree turn in my professional career but I love what I’m doing. I use the critical thinking and logical thought process that I learned in computer science and apply that to my job every day.”

On Friday March 1, Corporate and Continuing Education will host the Spring Forward Education Expo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University Center. It’s an opportunity for business owners and Cameron County area residents to explore the training and education opportunities provided by TSTC.

“We really just wanted to showcase all the opportunities offered by TSTC to the community in the form of academics and continuing education,” Hernandez said. “It’s open to the community and we just want local business owners and residents to be aware of what we have to offer them.”

For more information call 956-364-4606 or visit www.tstc.edu/harlingencorporate.

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