(MARSHALL, Texas) – Texas State Technical College students learn quickly that their education requires a lot of hard work and determination, but the rewards are more than worth it. Henderson native and TSTC student Konner Hand has proven time and time again that he refuses to let anything hold him back.
Hand has been hard of hearing his entire life. However, he has accomplished more from a young age than many others.
“There have been many challenges and obstacles that I have overcome,” Hand said. “I have had great teachers and accommodations, and technology such as American Sign Language, closed captioning, digital hearing aids, FM (frequency modulation) system, and I read lips. These have all helped me to be successful in my everyday life.”
Hand has been riding dirt bikes and competing in motocross races since he was just 3 years old. This hobby has proved to be a therapeutic escape for him, helping him to relax after school and gifting him with wonderful friends whom he considers extended family.
After obtaining his certificate in real estate from Tyler Junior College, Hand decided to give TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program at the Marshall campus — which several of his friends have completed in the past — a try.
TSTC has been a blessing to Hand. He found his instructors to be people truly devoted to their students, even letting him finish his first semester from home after a dirt bike crash resulted in surgery. He has also made several more friends.
“I have truly enjoyed my time as a student at TSTC,” Hand said. “It has been a great family atmosphere in the classroom and out on the drill field. The program is truly committed to and cares about the success of its students.”
Hand plans to graduate from TSTC with his certificate of completion in December. Afterward, he will head straight into the workforce.
“My plans are to work my way up from journeyman to a first-class lineman and eventually a foreman of a crew,” Hand said.
Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructor Brandon Dickerson has nothing but confidence in Hand’s determination and considers him one of the hardest workers he has seen on campus.
“(Konner’s) hard work and his drive are very noticeable,” Dickerson said. “The class looks up to him, and nothing holds him back. He’s got a bright future ahead of him in linework, and whatever he does he’ll achieve great things for sure.”
According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers can earn an average annual salary of $65,730 in Texas. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a participating graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation. For more information, visit tstc.edu/mbg.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.