(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Ensuring that structures are safe and align with specific building codes is an essential part of Duvie Alcozer’s job as a building official with the town of Laguna Vista.
While on the job, she once observed a woman who was remodeling her home. Alcozer became intrigued by the renovation process, and that — coupled with her natural curiosity — led her to pursue an education at Texas State Technical College.
Halfway through her first semester, Alcozer discovered that she had breast cancer. She withdrew from the program for one year to begin treatments. Now she has returned to TSTC with renewed determination and is studying for a certificate of completion in Building Construction – Craftsman.
“I’m still recovering, but I’m a dedicated person who wants to finish what I started,” she said. “I do my best while I’m in the program part time, working full time, and balancing family life. When I complete the program, I’ll be ready to do my job at the highest level.”
Alcozer is enjoying learning about all aspects of building construction, right down to the smallest details.
“I’m learning the science behind how a building was constructed and other areas such as concrete, electrical and plumbing,” she said. “When I do an assignment, I look into everything in-depth. That’s how I will become an expert. My favorite assignment is roofing because the items that are needed to complete it have to be done in a specific order.”
She added that her instructors are careful to explain the whys and wherefores of the course material.
“They have shown us why projects need to be completed in a certain manner and according to a building code,” she said.
Hector Rosa, TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program director, said Alcozer is thriving in the program.
“Duvie takes that knowledge to her job and uses it to make sure the correct process is followed,” he said. “She is helpful, interactive and inquisitive with her classmates.”
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers in Texas can earn an average annual salary of $64,470, according to onetonline.org, which projects these positions to grow by 23% in the state through 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology and a certificate of completion in Building Construction – Craftsman on its Harlingen and Waco campuses.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.