(Left to right) TSTC Building Construction Technology students Rolando Garcia, Luis Felipe Torres and Jadynn Ontiveros, with program director Hector Rosa, stand next to recently donated concrete masonry units from Best Block.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – At Texas State Technical College, the formula to a great-paying career for some students starts by training with industry-standard equipment and materials to prepare for competition at the SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference and, ultimately, the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Recently Best Block, a Quikrete company, donated three concrete masonry units to the Building Construction Technology program at the Harlingen campus.

LeRoy Jackson, a sales representative for Best Block, said the donation is to help the future of masonry.

“The Building Construction Technology instructors at TSTC will teach students how to properly lay blocks in the walls so they can learn a special skill set using a trowel,” Jackson said.

The materials that were given to the program are like those currently used in the construction of many grocery stores, houses, schools and shopping centers across the nation.

Jackson said Best Block was happy to contribute.

“Our partnership with TSTC has been (growing) for several years, and it will continue to grow,” he said.

Hector Rosa, TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program director in Harlingen, said the concrete materials will help out substantially.

“The materials will be used in our Concrete course this fall,” he said. “They will allow students to develop techniques by using mortar to get an accurate level. Next month they will use the materials for masonry practice and begin to prepare for SkillsUSA.”

Rolando Garcia, of Harlingen, is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology. He said the donation helps the students’ masonry skills.

“We’ll be able to expand our knowledge and learn new information that we didn’t know,” he said.

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 projected 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.

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