(MARSHALL, Texas) – A bridge is easier to cross with a friend or loved one by your side, just as father and daughter Matt and Brooke Linthicum learned when they attended Texas State Technical College together.
Matt Linthicum is now working as a controls engineer at the East Texas location of E Tech Group, an automation software, systems integration and engineering design services provider headquartered in Ohio. Meanwhile, Brooke Linthicum is working in process controls for Canada-based wood products company West Fraser in the Linthicums’ hometown of Henderson, Texas.
Matt Linthicum, who previously worked in the water treatment field, grew tired of having to wait for a technician anytime the equipment his crew worked with broke down. Brooke Linthicum, who was just getting started on her future, had no true passion for her intended field.
“I was looking for a way to get into the controls field, and just by scouting around I came across TSTC,” Matt Linthicum said. “(Brooke) was actually going to be an actuary. Her only reasoning for that was it had a good salary. I was talking to her about what I was going to TSTC for, and she decided to come check it out.”
Matt Linthicum was grateful that the program allowed him to start fresh while maintaining his job and supporting his family. Brooke Linthicum found that she liked the hands-on lab work the program offered.
“My time as a student, honestly, was too short,” Brooke Linthicum said. “I enjoyed coming to class. Just about every class, there was always something for us to do, something for us to learn, and I just enjoyed how friendly and understanding all of the teachers and staff were.”
During their time as TSTC students, the Linthicums teamed up to enter the Mechatronics competition at the 2023 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston, winning gold medals and advancing to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. While they did not win there, both were happy to have received the opportunity.
They are quick to recommend TSTC to others.
“With other colleges, you’re not guaranteed anything because they’re either very low-demand or it’s not a very practical degree,” Brooke Linthicum said. “But with TSTC, they let you know what you’re getting into. They care about students enough to make sure that whatever degree they offer, that student’s going to get a job.”
TSTC Automation and Controls Technology instructors Douglas Clark and Troy Powledge are proud to have helped the Linthicums find a passion for their careers and their futures.
“For both of them, (the program) was a big eye-opener, and their careers right now have just blossomed into really good stuff,” Clark said.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.