(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Fairbanks Morse Defense is hiring in the Houston area, and Joe Tomaskovic, the company’s general manager, hopes that Texas State Technical College Diesel Equipment Technology students in Fort Bend County will consider the opportunity.
The storied military and industrial contractor has over 125 years in the business, building engines for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard — among numerous other marine, railroad and nuclear power applications.
“To give you an idea about our technology, we design everything around the Navy,” Tomaskovic said. “The technical things we do are unmatched. These are going on the ships that are going to protect this country. It’s a very great opportunity, and there’s a lot of design and engineering involved with this.”
Tomaskovic visited TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus recently to speak with students in the diesel program about what his company does — and the kinds of opportunities there are for growth within it.
The average length of employee service at Fairbanks Morse Defense is 20 years, he said — with some employees logging as many as 40 years at the company.
“Our track record for success is zero failures,” Tomaskovic said. “That’s why everybody is chasing us — our technology, our engineering, our people.”
The company is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the parts it uses.
“We own the design, we own the intellectual property, and that’s what’s cool about us — we own everything we do,” Tomaskovic said. “Everything we do is made by us.”
Fairbanks Morse Defense sends mechanics to ships around the world for preventive maintenance, which is recommended after a specific number of hours running. The company covers all travel expenses for their mechanics, who could be away for weeks at a time on a job.
“There are five phases of maintenance: cleaning, lubrication, inspection, repair, overhaul,” Tomaskovic said. “We do not want to get to overhaul. We spend a lot of time with the Navy, cleaning, inspecting and repairing.”
Fairbanks Morse Defense and TSTC have had about a yearlong relationship, Tomaskovic said.
“I’m on the advisory board for all your curriculum,” he said. “I was very impressed by this group, and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to be recruiting out of here for our two plants in the Houston area.”
Judy Cox, a TSTC Career Services coordinator, encouraged students to ask Tomaskovic questions during the presentation, adding that Fairbanks Morse Defense hopes to visit TSTC’s campus at least once every semester.
“In just the year that they have been visiting, their company has grown,” she said. “Military isn’t going anywhere.”
With headquarters in Beloit, Wisconsin, Fairbanks Morse Defense is often looking to add team members with the foundation of knowledge and experience that TSTC provides.
Tomaskovic offered some parting advice for students eager to find a good-paying career after they graduate from TSTC.
“Don’t let anybody tell you it’s not about the money,” Tomaskovic said. “If you’re going to school, you should be paid for it. There’s nothing wrong with making a buck.”
TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology – Heavy Truck Specialization and two certificates of completion in Diesel Equipment Technology – Heavy Truck.
Diesel Equipment Technology is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee. The college is so confident that diesel graduates will find a job in their field within six months of earning their degree that TSTC will refund their tuition if they do not.
In Texas, diesel engine specialists can earn an average annual salary of $49,810, according to onetonline.org. The projected growth of these positions in the state is 14% through 2028.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas employs the highest number of diesel engine specialists. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area has the fourth-highest number of diesel specialists in the nation.
Registration for the spring semester is underway. To learn more, visit tstc.edu.