Waco Precision Machining Technology Hayden Hood

(WACO, Texas) – Hayden Hood is training for a new position.

“Everything happens for a reason,” the Texas State Technical College student said. “I really think I am this strong of a student now because I had to learn, because there were things that did not go as smoothly as I wanted. I truly believe it.”

Hood, of Boerne, is a Precision Machining Technology student at TSTC’s Waco campus. He is pursuing a certificate of completion and is scheduled to graduate in August.

Hood credits an interest in firearms used for hunting as his inspiration for pursuing the machining field.

“Every barrel, every gun part is made using the machines,” he said. “I would not know what these machines are without gunsmithing.”

Jeremy Bailey, an instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program, said Hood’s sports background comes out in his competitiveness to be the best in his classes.

“I know that he will be successful in the manufacturing industry if by nothing more than his will alone,” Bailey said. “It has been very fun teaching him.”

Pursuing the machining field is a different direction that Hood is eager to take.

He was born in Brenham and lived throughout Texas before his family settled in Boerne. He grew up playing golf and had various roles on the football field. He played football at Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio and IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, before graduating from Boerne High School.

“It was all about football,” Hood said. “That was the main reason I wanted to go to college. I wish I had the mindset then that I have now.”

Hood played one season of football at Texas Tech University, where he was a long snapper. He studied ranch management there, but he did not have a specific career plan after graduation.

“In that little stretch of my life, I was never one to be depressed,” he said. “But when I was 19 and 20, it was the toughest time I had in my life.”

Hood left Texas Tech and worked in Ozona, Texas, because he had relatives living there. As he worked, he figured out his next move: a gunsmithing degree at the Colorado School of Trades. He graduated and then went to work in Nebraska before moving back to Texas.

His work in Colorado and Nebraska meant lots of experiences working on manual machines.

When he came to TSTC, he was able to work on computer numerical control machines for the first time. He said he likes writing and understanding the codes used to operate the machines.

Hood’s advice for other students, especially those that play high school and college sports, is to have a plan for the future as soon as possible.

“If you stay in school and get good grades and work, you show people you are worth their time,” he said.

Hood said he is excited for the future. He will start this summer looking for jobs that best fit him.

Registration continues for TSTC’s fall semester. For more information, go to tstc.edu.

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