Alfredo Martinez will put construction skills to work at Morton Buildings
(HOUSTON, Texas) – Alfredo Martinez, a Texas State Technical College student training in Building Construction Technology at TSTC’s Harlingen campus, may have gone to the SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston in hopes of winning a gold medal in the Carpentry competition.
But he also went with another goal in mind: to explore employment opportunities.
That opportunity came sooner than Martinez expected.
The morning after he arrived with the rest of TSTC’s Harlingen delegation, Martinez received a call from Alfonso Gonzalez, a SkillsUSA advisor and teaching lab assistant in the Harlingen campus’ Building Construction Technology program. Once Martinez arrived downstairs at the Omni Houston Hotel, Gonzalez shared that a representative from Morton Buildings was looking to connect.
After an interview with the representative, Martinez was offered a position from the company on the spot. He accepted.
“I told my girlfriend right away,” he said. “She was excited for me. She was happy. I told her I wanted to put myself out there, maybe get a job opportunity. Now I have one.”
Martinez has five years of experience in carpentry and framing, and the position he accepted was as an experienced crew member with Morton Buildings. He looks forward to the opportunity to travel and grow with the company.
Gonzalez met Martinez during a TSTC recruitment event at Martinez’s high school.
“He’s been one of our top students ever since,” Gonzalez said. “He’s got a great future in the construction industry — no doubt about that.”
Morton Buildings has visited TSTC’s campus in Harlingen before, looking to recruit Building Construction Technology students, he added. Martinez’s commitment and willingness to learn set him apart, Gonzalez said.
“Whoever he ends up working for, he’s going to be a great asset to their company,” Gonzalez said. “I can vouch for that.”
Though the highlight of the SkillsUSA experience may have come earlier than Martinez expected, he still looked forward to the competition itself.
“I want to give it my all — try my best,” he said. “I know what I do; I love what I do. I just want to go have fun. It’s been a really good week. Hoping to make it better. I want to take something back home — hopefully it’s a gold.”
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology and a certificate of completion in Building Construction – Craftsman on its Harlingen and Waco campuses.
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers can earn an average annual salary of $62,390, according to onetonline.org, which projects these positions to grow by 17% in the state through 2028.
The three-day SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference began Thursday, April 7. For more information, visit skillsusatxps.org.
For more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.