(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology students competed in the fall semester Lineworker Rodeo at the Waco campus on Thursday, Nov. 16.
The event exhibited the skills that third-semester students have learned during their time at TSTC. Teams of four worked together to complete four different tasks. The tasks progressed through the skills that they have learned, beginning with first-semester skills to what they have learned in their current semester.
“It’s a way to show your skills and what you’ve learned through the three semesters of being here, what the instructors can teach you, what we can learn, and show the companies how good of a school TSTC is,” Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology student Noah Young said.
Industry partners, friends and family were all invited to watch the event. For family and friends, it offered a chance for them to be able to see all of the students’ hard work being put to use firsthand.
“(The rodeo) shows a view of what we do,” Mason Burke, an Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructor, said. “Some people might not understand what a lineman does, especially parents of students. They might look it up, but once they get out here, they see what they actually do.”
James Young, Noah Young’s father, said he enjoyed being able to see how his son put his skills to work in a team setting.
“He’s very vocal when he’s on the ground, always talking with the other guys and letting them know, ‘Hey, don’t forget this,’ — all the little aspects of the things that need to get done,” James Young said. “Because when you get over into the real world of linework, it’s going to be a lot of that too.”
Burke said students were able to use the event not only to showcase the skills that they have learned, but also to connect with industry partners for possible job opportunities.
“What’s really awesome is that we have a bunch of students, so it’s kind of hard to get each individual student in front of somebody to interview,” he said. “We do this, and the industry can get here and … see who climbs good, see who’s performing safely, or all of the above. It helps the students put their name out there, and really all they’re doing is what they’ve learned at school. They’re doing the same thing they’ve done all year long.”
Lisa Dromgoole, a representative from Buckingham Electric, echoed the sentiment.
“I think it’s great for the industry to be able to come out and see the quality of students,” she said. “If they see it for just a little bit here, they remember it. They remember that these kids were climbing good, they had good form, they were working together teamwork-wise.”
According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers in Texas can earn a median salary of $65,730 a year. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a participating graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.