Daniel Pacheco, a TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology student, repairs a dent on a 2006 Honda Accord during a recent lab session.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College student Daniel Pacheco strives for perfection with his hands-on assignments in TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program.

He applies the same level of commitment while he prepares to compete in the SkillsUSA Texas District 13 Leadership and Skills Conference that will be held February 15-17 at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

Pacheco, a Harlingen resident, decided to learn more about the auto collision industry after he was in an automobile accident. The experience motivated him to take an auto body repair class at Harlingen High School.

“I learned the basics of auto body repair,” he said. “My teacher noticed my talent and asked, ‘Would you like to join SkillsUSA?’ Since I’m good at math, I agreed to do estimating. I had a great experience competing in SkillsUSA. After I graduated I wanted to expand my knowledge, so I enrolled at TSTC.”

Pacheco, who is in his first semester at the college, is learning skills that can help him when he competes at the postsecondary level of SkillsUSA.

“I’ve painted and welded different areas of an automobile,” he said. “I have learned some great techniques from my instructors.”

Maria Ramirez, a TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology instructor, said Pacheco’s performance has improved since the semester began.

“Daniel’s dedication to his work is noticeable,” she said. “He demonstrates quality work when he works on a panel, a fender, a door, or uses a paint spray gun.”

According to onetonline.org, automotive body and related repairers in Texas earn an average of $46,270 a year. The website projected that there would be a 14% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.

TSTC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in Auto Collision and Management Technology with refinishing and repair specializations at its Harlingen and Waco campuses. Certificate options also are available.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that can help high school and college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 categories of competition for high school and postsecondary students, ranging from 3D Visualization to Welding Sculpture. For more information, visit skillsusa.org.

Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

tstc logo