(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Daniel Gainer, of Mason, has been building things his entire life.

He found a love of working on different vehicles in his father’s shop at a young age. He is preparing to enter the workforce after he graduates from Texas State Technical College’s Automotive Technology program this fall.

“I have had a lot of job offers the past few months. That is all thanks to TSTC,” Gainer said.

After touring TSTC in high school, Gainer said the choice to attend college was simple.

“I have always liked to make sure things ran correctly,” he said. “I also like the hands-on style of learning available at TSTC. You need to get in there and do the work.”

Gainer said instructor Mike Myers made learning easy and also exposed him to the way things will be done in the workplace.

“Mike will sit down in front of me and explain to me what I am looking for. I will sit down after that and do it correctly,” he said.

Even if he did something wrong, Gainer said Myers would be right there to offer input like a shop supervisor.

“Sometimes when we do not know what is wrong, he will ask us to look at it a different way,” he said. “That helps me think differently and look for a solution.”

Another aspect of the program Gainer appreciated was working with his classmates.

“We have basically become a family here,” he said. “We plan on staying in contact with each other after graduation.”

Gainer said that will be important to him because he knows they can help him if he encounters a problem.

“I know that if I do not have the right answer for a problem, they might. We will be a text message away from helping each other,” he said. “If that doesn’t work, we all know Mike will give us his input, but not the answer.”

Gainer’s favorite aspect of the program is working on diesel engines. Having worked on his father’s equipment led him to focus on the diesel side of mechanics.

“I go home, and all of my buddies have their minds blown with everything I have learned about working on diesel engines,” he said.

While not his favorite, Gainer said he picked up what he needed to do to repair a gasoline engine by watching Myers and his classmates.

“If you show me how to do something one time, it is stored in my mind,” he said. “I know then that I can do what needs to be done.”

Gainer said TSTC offers programs for different people, but one thing is the same.

“TSTC will teach you a good work ethic and get you set for the future,” he said. “The instructors will work hard to prepare you for where you want to go in life. This has been the best experience of my life.” 

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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