Texas state Rep. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond), right, laughs as Texas State Technical College Welding Technology instructor Alex Deibert assesses the welding job that Jetton completed during a visit Thursday, July 14, 2022, to TSTC’s campus in Fort Bend County.

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Sparks sprayed and popped in the Welding Technology lab at Texas State Technical College’s campus in Fort Bend County. 

Texas state Rep. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond) was applying what he learned from TSTC Welding Technology instructor Alex Deibert in a hands-on lesson.

Jetton grinned as he raised his welding helmet to check out his work, urging Deibert to grade it.

“Letterwise, I’ll give you a B,” Deibert said, describing the proper techniques for the best results before raising his assessment to an A for effort.

“I’ll take it,” Jetton said, laughing.

Jetton visited the campus Thursday, July 14, to experience firsthand the work that goes into placing more Texans in higher-paying careers — TSTC’s mission.

“I had a great time visiting TSTC today,” he said. “I enjoyed the tour greatly, getting to visit all the different classrooms that are very innovative and full of technology that are going to help ensure our students have good jobs afterward.”

In the Robotics and Industrial Controls Technology lab, Jetton met with TSTC instructor Charles Sparks, who described the bright future of automation in the workplace — and how marketable that makes graduates from his program.

TSTC Electrical Power and Controls instructor Jonathan Bonkoske showed Jetton some new equipment being installed in one of his program’s labs.

Bonkoske also highlighted the Bachelor’s+ Program, a partnership between TSTC and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). He and fellow TSTC instructor Joshua Schott have led two Texas A&M engineering students in an immersive project relevant to their studies for the Basic Electromechanical Automation occupational skills achievement award this summer.

“TSTC obviously has the education that people are going to need to go out into the workforce and get good-paying jobs right off the bat,” Jetton said. “That is by far the most impressive thing about TSTC — being able to get that hands-on experience that is going to put them so far ahead of their peers when it comes to entering the workforce.”

In TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology lab, Jetton watched students prepare CNC (computer numerical control) machines for projects. In the Faraday Center, which houses the Tesla START training program, he sat behind the wheel of one of the vehicles that future Tesla technicians use for training.

Jetton emphasized how important the type of training that TSTC offers is to the economy in Texas.

“That is crucial right now, especially as we continue to have shortages in those fields that we desperately need, such as welding, plumbing, electricity,” he said. “We have great needs here in Texas with the infrastructure and all the growth. The education provided at TSTC ensures that our students are prepared to keep our economy going and keep Texas running.”

Registration for the fall semester at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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