(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Jose Luis Quintero, of Raymondville, recalls that some of the homes his family lived in when he was growing up were not properly built.
That memory factored into his decision to attend Texas State Technical College.
“I’m in the fourth semester of the Building Construction Technology program at TSTC’s Harlingen campus,” he said. “Graduation is next week. I plan to walk the stage to accept an Associate of Applied Science degree. My long-term goal is to build my father’s dream house.”
A networking opportunity arose earlier this month at TSTC’s Industry Job Fair, where Quintero demonstrated his professionalism to potential employers.
“I networked with some industry representatives, and Marek caught my interest,” he said. “They were looking to fill vacancies for an entry-level general labor job at their Harlingen location. So I applied. I was contacted a week later for a job interview, and it went very well. Two weeks later I accepted their job offer.”
Joe Figoroa, superintendent for Marek, said his company’s premise is to hire young individuals who are ready to learn.
“Marek is a great family-owned company to start a career with,” he said. “The company is known for hiring young individuals who are looking for career growth opportunities such as a foreman, estimator, project manager, and other jobs. The company is based out of Houston and has five Texas locations, including Atlanta (Georgia) and Nashville (Tennessee).”
Quintero is thrilled because he will be able to enhance his skill set.
“Marek is known for their dedication in commercial and residential specialty construction,” he said. “I’m ready to use the knowledge that I’ve learned in the Building Construction Technology program and apply it into the workforce.”
He added that his program experience has been worthwhile.
“I truly enjoy learning something new every day,” he said. “If I have a question, they will challenge me. As for hands-on training, using tools such as a nail gun, circular saw, palm nailer and other items has given me satisfaction. I had never used tools until I enrolled in this program. It showed me how efficient the building process is.”
Hector Rosa, a TSTC Building Technology instructor, said Quintero has worked hard to understand the course material.
“Jose is one of our top students, and he will succeed in his career,” he said. “He is familiarized in estimating, framing and the basics of what needs to be done. He has the ability to notice errors in a project. That skill helps maximize profits for a company.”
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 23% in the state through 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology, a certificate of completion in Building Construction – Craftsman, and an occupational skills achievement award in Building Inspection Level 1 on its Harlingen and Waco campuses.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.