A TSTC branded shovel sits in dirt with a white hard hat resting on top of it.

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Despite the grayness of the early morning, the sun broke through the clouds as the groundbreaking for Texas State Technical College’s new Transportation Center of Excellence was held at the Fort Bend County campus on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

In attendance were TSTC Chancellor and CEO Mike Reeser, other TSTC leadership, local and regional government officials, and representatives from some of TSTC’s industry partners.

The Transportation Center of Excellence is scheduled to open in time for the fall 2025 semester. It will host an expanded Diesel Equipment Technology program, as well as the addition of both the Automotive Technology and the Auto Collision and Management Technology programs.

Kyle Krempel, head of automotive diagnostic support for Christian Brothers Automotive, said now is the best time to support quality education for the automotive industry.

“This stereotype of ‘dirty work,’ I can tell you after 25 years, that isn’t the case anymore, and it never was in the automotive industry,” Krempel said. “Today’s automotive careers demand the level of expertise to compete with any other technical career. Let’s recognize the schools like TSTC that are leading the industry with quality education.”

The ceremony opened with a short speech by campus provost Bryan Bowling.

“Today we gather and celebrate the future — the future of our students, our school and the Texas workforce,” Bowling said. “Thank you for joining us as we take the next step in ensuring that TSTC students here in Fort Bend County are learning and training in high-quality facilities with state-of-the-art equipment.”

Following his remarks, Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales and Reeser shared their thoughts on the importance of the new building and TSTC.

“It is truly a day of celebration today,” Morales said. “The efforts of those locally and regionally have helped secure in TSTC what I believe to be an economic engine in the county.”

Reeser agreed, expanding on what the future will hold thanks to the addition of the new building on campus.

“This new building will add to the supply of talented students who will go on and find prosperous jobs,” Reeser said. “We are different from the other community colleges. We focus on careers that are highly needed and waste no time in getting our students jobs.”

Following everyone’s speeches, those in attendance were invited to watch the groundbreaking. As hard hats were put on and shovels grabbed, excitement filled the air. While ceremonial, it was the first step toward an expansion of the campus and further opportunities for future students and the Texas workforce.

“This center gives people who might not have the opportunity to find work otherwise (the chance) to get a job that’s hands-on,” said Becky Haas, mayor of Richmond. “It’s so important as it lets those who might not want to go to a four-year school get into the workforce quicker with a high-paying job. It’s great to have this in the Rosenberg-Richmond area.”

Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is open. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

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