TSTC high school welding competition

Around 300 welding students participate in event

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – When Jose Perez Jr. was in high school, he competed in welding competitions like the Texas High School Welding Series event hosted Friday, Oct. 29, at Texas State Technical College.

During his senior year, Perez even met TSTC lead welding instructor Jerroll Hodge at an event in Columbus, Texas.

Now, as a TSTC student about to graduate in December, Perez volunteers to help at such competitions. He kept a close eye on participants during the highest level of difficulty at the event, making sure the students had everything they needed.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for high school students. You want to get better? You need a push — you need to compete.”

Around 300 students from high schools around the region took part in the competition. Vendors and other welding schools gathered on the TSTC campus in Fort Bend County to dole out prizes and scholarships.

“We have $20,000 that we are trying to give away,” said Melissa Morman, a director of student recruiting at TSTC. “I think a lot of these students are going to leave with more than just an experience from the competition — they’re going to leave knowing that TSTC is here to help them with their future.”

There were plenty of opportunities for students to test their knowledge and skills at the event, including a cutting contest, a tool identification contest, and four levels of competition ranging from basic skills to advanced projects.

Placing in the top three earned students trophies, hundreds of dollars’ worth of gear and equipment, and scholarships — though level-three and level-four competitors will have to wait for the X-rays of their welds for their final results.

TSTC’s welding instructors were also on hand to answer questions about the school, offer feedback on the students’ projects and make sure the competition ran smoothly.

“It’s an honor to be able to work at TSTC and host something like this and have people come in and potentially want to come here,” TSTC welding instructor Daniel Hillger said. “I think it’s good for the community.”

Some students attending the welding competition checked out other programs during their day on campus.

“This could be one of their first opportunities to see a trade school,” Hillger said.

Witnessing firsthand the equipment and training that TSTC provides could help students see the potential in a technical education.

“Coming here may open their minds,” Hodge said. “This is a great opportunity to show people what we have to offer.”

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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