(WACO, Texas) – Brad Bodine’s exposure to electrical work happened early on since his grandfather was an electrician and owned his business.
Today, Bodine is director of field services at Saber Power Services in Rosharon in Brazoria County. The Texas State Technical College graduate primarily works in the company’s testing group.
“In the testing world, we are at the customer’s mercy when they can turn power off,” he said. “They cannot do it during normal production hours. It is not a super-easy job, it is not in the air conditioning, and you have to be ready and willing to work.”
The company specializes in electrical services for industrial and commercial businesses, including data centers and refineries. He said the company is involved with efforts to help Southern Louisiana recover from Hurricane Laura.
“In a lot of the places that are really hard-hit, our construction team is doing a lot on the pole work, distribution lines and transmission lines,” Bodine said. “But on the testing side, when the switch gear floods and it is damaged from water, we clean it up and test it and recondition it.”
The company has an aggressive five-year growth plan to expand operations.
“I am helping to oversee and grow new offices,” Bodine said. “It is everything from helping sales to overseeing the financials and making sure we are going in the right direction with all our offices.”
Bodine said the electrical field is great to pursue because of the job security.
“Electricity is not going anywhere,” he said. “It is a necessity that is the last thing most people give up.”
Paul Beaver, Saber’s director of project development and training and a TSTC alumnus, said the company has a challenge in filling senior- and upper-level technician positions when they become open. He attributes this to a shortage of people going into the electrical field.
“Everybody has it in their heads that they can just get a two-year degree and they will not make money,” Beaver said. “They are horribly mistaken with that.”
The company has hired several TSTC graduates from the Waco campus, including recently for its San Antonio office, said Dan Bateman, TSTC’s statewide chair of the Generation, Transmission and Distribution department.
Bodine said he sees the company working more in the future with TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus because it also offers the Electrical Power and Controls program and is close to its headquarters.
Jonathan Bonkoske, lead instructor of TSTC’s Electrical Power and Controls program in Fort Bend County, said geography is a benefit to students.
“I have been noticing students are wanting more to stay close to home and not go and move out and do a lot of travel,” he said. “They want to stay close to home base.”
Bodine said he knew when he was a student at Teague High School that attending a four-year university was not for him. After attending another two-year college, Bodine enrolled at TSTC’s Waco campus. He received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power and Controls in 1998.
During Bodine’s time at TSTC, he did cooperative work on weekends and holidays at Shermco Industries in Irving.
“It gave me 100 percent an idea of what I am getting into,” he said.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.