(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Maintenance and construction supervisors at Oncor Electric Delivery Co. know that Texas State Technical College provides the company with quality employees.
During a recent employer spotlight, Jerry Murphree, a 42-year veteran of the company, told TSTC Electromechanical Technology and Wind Energy Technology students about the company’s benefits and job opportunities. Several students met with Murphree and other supervisors for job interviews following the spotlight.
“We have nine TSTC graduates alone in our Sweetwater office,” Murphree said. “Those guys have come a long way, from crew foreman to supervisor. TSTC graduates are going into leadership roles with Oncor.”
Ralph Acosta, a supervisor in Oncor’s west region, said he has four TSTC graduates on his crew.
“All of them are good guys and work really hard,” he said.
Billie Jones, TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology statewide lead, said the graduates like to return to school to visit with students.
“A lot of the guys Oncor has from TSTC have been there less than five years,” she said. “They have been able to pay off their debt and tuition in that time. One of our graduates came back to tell students he paid off his debt and bought a Jeep vehicle with no payments.”
Jones said she is also impressed that graduates decide to work their way up in the company.
“This is a good company that gives you good balance,” she said. “They know you are going to work hard, but they want you to be able to take that time off.”
Russell Benson, a TSTC Wind Energy Technology instructor, told students about his father’s 45 years with Oncor. He knows that Oncor will be there for employees at all levels.
“All you have to do is give them 100%, and you will get 150% back from Oncor,” he said.
Murphree told the students that the main criteria for employment at Oncor is that they must hold an associate degree. The company will work with students who need general education courses after completing TSTC’s certificate program.
“We are always looking for people who will lead the company in the future,” he said. “There is a constant turnover of technicians due to retirements and people leaving the company. It is easy for us to hire college graduates to replace those technicians.”
Oncor is the largest energy delivery company in Texas, and Murphree said its employees work to maintain the system so people can have power.
“We work in all types of conditions because as a residential customer, I want my lights on,” he said. “That is what motivates me to work.”
Oncor is responsible for more than 139,000 miles of transmission lines in the state.
“You can only imagine how much maintenance we need on those lines,” Murphree said. “We have a lot of work out there.”
That work includes infrastructure upgrades throughout the state, including a current project in Sweetwater where wooden utility poles are being replaced with metal ones.
“There is a lot of money being spent on changing out the poles so people can have reliable electricity,” he said.
According to onetonline.org, an electrical repairer for substations can earn an average annual salary of $77,310 in Texas. The need for repairers is expected to grow 17% in Texas between 2020 and 2030, the website stated.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.