North Texas legislative visit

(RED OAK, Texas) – Texas State Technical College hosted state Rep. Carl Sherman Sr., D-Lancaster, for his first visit to its North Texas campus on Wednesday.

Sherman, led by TSTC staff, stopped by the Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Power and Controls, HVAC Technology, Industrial Systems, Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology programs.

“I think it was a good opportunity for Rep. Sherman to get a better idea of the purpose and mission at TSTC,” said Jarriet Durham, lead instructor in TSTC’s Industrial Systems program.

Sherman saw students working in booths in the Welding Technology program. 

“There is good money to be made,” he said about welding jobs.

Joseph Francia, the program’s lead instructor, told the representative about the various certificates of completion that the program offers and the types of jobs that graduates can get with them.

“His visit is beneficial because he gets exposed to what we do at this campus and what we offer here,” Francia said. 

Douglas McCuen, lead instructor in the HVAC Technology program, showed Sherman the kinds of equipment that students use for hands-on labs.

“He seemed very interested,” McCuen said. “They (state legislators) make the future happen. They are the folks who make laws and help industries find ways to better manufacture.”

Sherman also visited the on-campus Bombardier Aviation Apprenticeship Program, which trains residents to work for the Montreal-based aviation company. Groups train for 90 days in a special company lab at TSTC and undergo 90 days of on-the-job training at the company. The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sherman also learned about TSTC’s funding formula and Money-Back Guarantee program, which enables students in specific programs to have their tuition reimbursed if they do not get a job in their field of study within six months of graduation. 

“This is like an incubator for job opportunities,” Sherman said about TSTC.

Sherman represents House District 109, which encompasses southern Dallas County. The district line is two miles from the TSTC campus in Red Oak. He sits on the House Appropriations Committee, which determines funding for TSTC and all other Texas state agencies.

Andrew Parks, TSTC’s director of Government Relations, was also part of the campus tour.

“Rep. Sherman has taken a strong interest in our programs and the great-paying jobs they lead to for our students, the guaranteed return on investment we provide to Texas taxpayers, and the tremendous workforce and economic development potential we bring to the table,” he said. “We believe our relationship with Rep. Sherman is off to a great start, and we look forward to working with both him and his staff in Austin.”

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