(SWEETWATER, Texas) – The COVID pandemic made Diego Morado look at other career paths.

The Snyder native worked for a major oil company in Scurry County, but he noticed that a lot of his co-workers were being laid off when production slowed down. Morado looked into working in the wind industry when he remembered a conversation with a longtime friend.

“My friend told me about Texas State Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program,” he said. “I thought it would be a good idea for me to look at as a career.”

While still working in the oil fields of West Texas, Morado enrolled in TSTC with a goal of earning an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“I know this is a field that is steady,” he said. “When I graduate, I plan to work in the wind industry because there will always be jobs available for me. This industry continues to grow.”

Morado said the main reason that he chose TSTC was training opportunities.

“I wanted to learn something quick and that was hands-on,” he said. “TSTC provides me with a good experience. I am not disappointed by what I have learned so far. There will be more to learn as I get closer to graduation.”

Morado even took some of his school knowledge to the oil field.

“The hydraulics class has helped me with my work in the field,” he said. “I did not realize it would be easy for me to do those things, but the instructors guide you through each lesson.”

With little time to relax, Morado said he appreciates how TSTC’s faculty and staff prepare students for a career.

“TSTC is here to help. They offer many things for us as students,” he said. “The employer spotlights showed me what is really out there waiting when I graduate. I am excited about the chances I will have.”

Instructor Russell Benson said Morado will be a valuable worker.

“Diego is someone you will be able to depend on, no matter what you ask him to do,” he said. “He will be a great teammate wherever he goes.”

Benson has noticed some unique qualities about Morado this semester.

“He is one of the students who will come into class and I will tell him how to do things once, and he gets it,” he said. “His intelligence level shows in his work. Diego’s work ethic has blown me away.”

The job outlook for the wind energy industry is bright. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas will increase 83% over the next six years. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $51,560, according to the website.

TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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