(HARLINGEN, Texas) – After serving with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board for 13 years, Javier Garcia is now enjoying his first year of passing his knowledge and experience on to students in Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program.
Some of the students began the program not knowing much about what being a lineworker actually entails, so Garcia started out teaching pole climbing and rigging lessons — at ground level. Since safety is always paramount, he worked to boost the students’ self-confidence and trust in their equipment.
“It is imperative that they know the correct method because performing the task at a higher altitude is completely different,” he said.
Now the students are practicing pole climbing and rigging at the Harlingen campus pole yard, and their progress makes Garcia proud.
“It is highly satisfying witnessing their caliber of work and camaraderie,” he said. “The transition of where I came from to what this class is doing is incredible, and I am blown away.”
Javier Morales, of Brownsville, is a former airman who is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program. His goal is to improve as a lineworker and assist his team.
“If I can improve compared to what I did yesterday, I am satisfied,” he said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical power line installers and repairers can earn an average annual salary of $55,880 in Texas. Onetonline.org projects that there will be an increase of 16% in the number of such jobs in the state by 2028.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Lineworker Technology and an Electrical Lineworker certificate of completion.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.