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Supporting the State's only two-year technical college system

The Office of Government Affairs for Texas State Technical College (TSTC) serves as the primary interface between the College and governmental entities, to include the Texas Legislature, Congress and governmental agencies. As TSTC is a state-funded institution, the primary focus is on the Texas Legislature and the Capitol. There, the Government Affairs team monitors relevant legislation, coordinates TSTC-specific issues and manages the state appropriations process regarding TSTC budget items.

Federal

Although Texas State Technical College (TSTC) does not maintain an office in Washington DC, the Government Affairs team actively monitors federal issues affecting the College, including legislation involving education, financial aid, veterans, workforce training and economic development. Changes in the GI Bill and veteran housing allotments, for example, can have a big impact on the quality of life for TSTC’s large veteran population.

Aviation and airport issues occupy a disproportionate share of the Government Affairs team’s time at the federal level. Unlike most colleges, TSTC owns its own airport which supports a large aerospace program. The TSTC Waco Airport has two parallel runways with an 8,600-foot primary runway supported by a Control Tower, which is operational seven days a week and staffed by FAA-certified Contract Air Traffic Controllers. Thus, the airport alone encompasses multiple issues that are highly subject to federal regulations.

The Office of Government Affairs also monitors and, when needed, coordinates meetings and conferences in the Washington area for various TSTC departments and/or personnel-related to instructional programs or federal grants. Largely through TSTC’s Center for Employability Outcomes (C4EO), the College has been a frequent presenter and thought leader at national conferences for major associations and policy groups. C4EO is a division within TSTC focused on research, development and commercialization and purposed to optimize student employability. C4EO develops solutions to capture the skill requirements of industry and to align them with educational offerings. The result is a more qualified workforce for industry and better job placement outcomes for graduates.

State

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) was created by the Legislature in 1965 to meet the state’s evolving workforce needs. As the demand for quality technical education continued to grow, the Legislature approved changes to the College through new campuses, programs and its organizational structure. Today, the Office of Government Affairs has a year-round presence at the Texas Capitol in order to stay abreast of policy issues and to keep TSTC on the cutting edge of technical education and workforce development.

On a daily basis, the Government Affairs team works with legislative offices in the House and Senate, exchanging information for better policy outcomes. Additionally, relationships are maintained with personnel from the Governor’s office, as well as with appointed officials and staff from key state agencies that either have oversight responsibilities or work in concert with TSTC. Through these relationships, TSTC is able to engage in meaningful dialogue that results in better educational opportunities for all Texans and a robust talent pipeline for employers in the state.

In addition to the many relationships at the Capitol, the Government Affairs team works closely with the many statewide trade associations that represent the business and industry community. Regular meetings are held with these trade groups to exchange information and learn of the needs facing Texas employers.

Business & Industry

The Texas economy depends heavily on a skilled workforce. Without it, businesses cannot maintain or grow their operations and achieve success. As a state leader in strengthening the competitiveness of business and industry, Texas State Technical College (TSTC) relies on a strong relationship with its stakeholders. Effective communication between TSTC and its business and industry partners is critical, particularly with regard to legislative and government concerns. TSTC’s ability to listen and collaborate ensures that the College is up to date on workforce and employer needs. Working through these  partnerships, TSTC strives to develop and nurture solid education and workforce policies that provide Texans with excellent educational and career opportunities.

TSTC’s Office of Government Affairs is a small shop with only six team members, each with their respective areas of expertise and assigned tasks. Responsibilities are frequently shared in order to achieve the College’s overarching mission of Placing More Texans in Great Paying Jobs.

We actively guard TSTC’s image to ensure that policymakers hear a unified and consistent message. Through Capitol visits, hosted events, policy briefings, and printed materials, we elevate TSTC’s stature as a national leader in technical education.

We partner with trade and industry associations to ensure that policymakers understand workforce trends and industry needs. We also work with TSTC’s provosts to build relationships with local businesses and community leaders so employers are assured of a trained and readily available workforce.

Whether in Austin or in Washington DC at the Congressional level, the Government Affairs team actively guards TSTC’s image to ensure that policymakers hear a unified and consistent message regarding TSTC’s programs and efforts. Through countless Capitol visits, hosted events, policy briefings and printed materials, team members work diligently to elevate TSTC’s stature as a national leader in technical education.

Because TSTC is Texas’ only two-year college specifically tasked with workforce training, the Government Affairs team views the strength and stability of the Texas workforce as being vital to its mission. Therefore, the Government Affairs team partners at the state level with trade and industry associations to ensure that policymakers understand workforce trends and industry needs. Additionally, the team works with TSTC Provosts at the campus level to build linkages with local businesses and community leaders to ensure employers are assured of a trained and readily available workforce.

The Texas economy depends on a skilled workforce. We listen and collaborate with trade associations, businesses, and industry so that we stay current on workforce and employer needs. Because of these partnerships, we can develop and nurture education and workforce policies that provide Texans with excellent educational and career opportunities.

The Government Affairs Team

tstc govaffairs joe arnold 236x300 - Government Affairs

Joe W. Arnold
Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Executive External Relations Officer
512-914-3733
joe.arnold@tstc.edu

tstc govaffairs nikki gonzales 236x300 - Government Affairs

Nikki Lewis Gonzales
Director II for Government Affairs
512-647-8786
nikki.gonzales@tstc.edu

tstc govaffairs marlene mcmichael 236x300 - Government Affairs

Marlene McMichael
Associate Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs
512-818-1473
marlene.mcmichael@tstc.edu

East Williamson County Woman e1619636292781 - Government Affairs

Maricela DeLeon
Regional Executive Director
956-364-4026
maricela.deleon@tstc.edu

tstc govaffairs gail lawrence 236x300 - Government Affairs

Gail Lawrence
Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief of Staff to the Chancellor
325-235-7333
gail.lawrence@tstc.edu

tstc govaffairs catherine barbosa 236x300 - Government Affairs

Catherine Barbosa
Executive Assistant for Government Affairs
512-647-8784
catherine.barbosa@tstc.edu

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