(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, toured Texas State Technical College’s newest Industrial Technology Center last week.
“TSTC is training the workforce of tomorrow,” he said of his first visit to the Abilene campus. “Many of the things we take for granted, like turning on the power, are being taught and trained on (at TSTC) in Abilene.”
Perry described himself as a technical person and enjoyed visiting the different labs available in Abilene.
“I am a career tech guy and have a shop at the house,” he said. “I always enjoy seeing how things work. It is fun to see the revitalization of how things are put together.”
Perry visited the Aviation Airframe and Powerplant Technology hangar, as well as the Electric Power and Controls, Emergency Medical Services, Industrial Systems and Welding Technology labs.
“The facilities are impressive,” he said. “All of these programs are the answer to our workforce needs.”
Perry asked instructors about the programs and where graduates are hired.
“A lot of our graduates like to stay local,” said Terry Steelman, an Industrial Systems instructor.
While touring the Emergency Medical Services program, Perry saw the new immersive virtual reality lab, which allows students to experience various medical crises in a virtual setting, complete with sounds and smells.
“This is a new feature we have to teach our students to respond to all types of situations,” said Ronnie Pitts, EMS instructor and state department chair of the program. “We can provide them with any scenario, and they will have to react in real time.”
Perry and his staff appreciated the virtual teaching tool.
“This is amazing technology, and it is good to see we are training with the best equipment,” Perry said.
Perry’s final stop was the aviation hangar.
“There is a sense of accomplishment and pride when you build something,” he said. “I have always valued being able to work with my hands and seeing that project come to fruition.”
Andy Weaver, interim provost of TSTC’s West Texas campuses, said with more industry moving to the region, TSTC will play a key role in developing the workforce.
“We are excited about the future and what TSTC can do for our area,” he said. “We want the companies to know that we are here to best serve their needs. We appreciated Sen. Perry’s visit and the support he has given TSTC and the mission we have to positively impact Texas industry and workforce.”
Perry was able to see how TSTC educates the future Texas workforce with a hands-on approach, and said the state’s future workforce is in good hands.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.