(SWEETWATER, Texas) – George Werner makes it a point to visit Texas State Technical College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program as often as possible.
Werner, who graduated from the TSTC program in 1989, said his 35 years in the diesel industry has shown him TSTC trains the best mechanics. Werner recently visited with current students about the job opportunities available at Roberts Truck Service’s seven locations, including his facility in Tye.
“I like coming to TSTC because they train the best of the best. I can see the interaction the students have with our employees,” said Werner, who is the service manager of the Tye location. “When we visit the Sweetwater campus, we do not just like to see students answer questions, we want to be part of a hands-on activity.”
During this semester’s visit, students participated in an electrical class conducted by a Roberts Truck Center employee.
“Having the students participate in that class helped show them another perspective of the industry,” said Shannon Weir, a Diesel Equipment Technology instructor. “This shows them that the skills they acquire here will enable them to perform a task in the shop.”
Michael Hernandez, a current Diesel Equipment Technology student, said having employer spotlights like Roberts Truck Service has helped him make decisions on where to apply for jobs.
“I like to see how each of the employers will treat me as an employee,” he said. “Having Roberts Truck Service come here and show us the different equipment was one of the best ways for me to interact with an employer. They showed us some of the things we will be responsible for at the shop.”
Weir said Werner and his team also emphasized the importance of computer use in the shop.
“George was able to drive home the point that computers are the way to go,” he said. “If you are having problems solving the issue, the computer is going to let you know. For the students to hear it from someone who deals with it in the shop made it a real-life scenario they will have to deal with during their career.”
Werner said TSTC is providing a valuable service to the diesel mechanic industry.
“This industry is lacking qualified people to work,” he said. “I know that TSTC is training the next group of qualified employees who can become great mechanics for us.”
According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were expected to increase 19% in Texas from 2020 to 2030. Such technicians employed in Texas can earn an annual average salary of $50,970, the website stated.
Werner said the company’s relationship with TSTC will continue to grow with the help of the instructors and Career Services department. He said Brittany Wilson, TSTC’s Career Services director in West Texas, plays an important role in preparing students after they graduate.
“Brittany has helped so many students prepare their resumes and for interviews,” he said. “She knows the importance of the resume and it shows when I look at a resume from a TSTC graduate.”
Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, TSTC will refund their tuition in full.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.