(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Joseph Fredericks, of Ballinger, admits that he is learning more than he expected in Texas State Technical College’s Automotive Technology program.
Fredericks, a second-semester student, is already setting his sights on furthering his education at TSTC. He is currently studying for a basic automotive certificate and plans to earn an automotive technician certificate.
“After I earn my automotive technician certification, my ultimate goal is to work for an engine building company,” Fredericks said. “Until I am able to do that, I want to find a good place to work that pays well. I know I am going to have to work my way up the ladder.”
Fredericks said his mechanical experience was somewhat limited before he enrolled at TSTC.
“I spent more than two years working in a shop before I enrolled in school,” he said. “I wanted to learn more.”
He has been learning more by working with his fellow students in the shop.
“I like how things are set up here, and we are able to work with other people,” Fredericks said. “We are able to help each other, and I really like to help people out.”
Instructor Gerod Strother sees that trait daily in Fredericks.
“He is willing to help anyone in the class. He takes a lot of pride in his work,” he said.
Fredericks said Strother teaches students in a way that will help them in professional shops.
“We are covering everything that is important to know when we are in the shop. That has been helpful for all of us,” he said. “The hands-on approach is the best way to teach a program like this. Shop time is the best time for me.”
Fredericks said TSTC recruiters drew him to the program.
“The recruiters came to our high school in San Angelo and told us about the program. I knew I needed to look into this as a career,” he said.
When he is not in class, Fredericks said he likes to show his family what he has learned.
“My dad likes it when I come home and do some work on his truck, especially since it is free,” he said. “We also have a tractor that is always breaking down, and I am able to fix it with the little bit of experience I have been able to learn so far.”
However, tractors and cars are not all he wants to work on when he graduates.
“I hope to build the engines for drag racing,” he said. “I have always enjoyed watching drag racing and would like to build engines for those cars.”
For more information, visit tstc.edu.