(ROSENBERG, Texas) – People who want high-paying jobs and careers, to learn a trade and make generational changes come to Texas State Technical College. For Jalon Debbs, community liaison of TSTC’s Recruitment department at the Fort Bend County campus, it is that simple.
Debbs was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where his dad would volunteer as a coach at the local community center. He sees his role at TSTC as honoring “my dad who served in the Vietnam War and had a 25-year-long career as a mechanic with Continental Airlines.”
Debbs himself worked 25 years in the oil and gas fields as a project controls engineer after graduating from San Diego State University. He then joined TSTC’s Recruitment department in 2020, a move he calls “a blessing.”
As part of his job, he meets with people throughout the various communities he serves, from community organizations such as the YMCA and after-school programs to individuals such as pastors, peace officers and city council members.
“Relationships are built on trust and reaching into those communities that are underserved,” he said. “That’s one area I know quite well.”
His openness and ability to reach out to those in need is a key aspect of his relationships and work. The reception he receives about TSTC is positive.
“Reception has been with open arms,” he said. “What I hear most is, ‘Wow this is exactly what I’ve been hoping for at this time in my life.’”
He often discusses the job market and how needed technical and trade jobs are.
“A large percentage of people in our underserved population are looking for programs TSTC has to offer,” he said. “We just have to be able to reach out and connect with them 24/7.”
To Debbs, it is the small moments that make a difference in his job.
“It’s the time I spend on the phone at 8 p.m. on Saturday with parents, on campus after school talking to the principals, in the YMCA playing Uno, or in the gym talking with those students who really need a father figure or mentor,” he said.
Debbs supports prospective students where they are and encourages high school students and others to find their own way.
“Even if students don’t choose TSTC right now, I tell them you need to follow your passion in order to succeed,” he said.
TSTC offers a variety of technical programs, from Welding and Precision Machining to Robotics and Cybersecurity — a point Debbs is sure to bring up.
“Everyone thinks ‘technical’ is computers,” he said. “I tell them it is also based on hands-on, skill-driven industries.”
Having built many relationships through coaching in basketball and baseball showcase competitions across the state, Debbs often introduces himself as “Coach.” Having gone to college on an athletic scholarship and using that to get a degree in industrial engineering, a decision that changed his family’s life forever, he is determined to help others experience the same.
“If you want to change your life expeditiously, then you need to stop making excuses and come see Coach!” he said.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.