Waco Career Services

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Career Services department hosted four industry panel discussions for TSTC students on Wednesday, June 5.

Company representatives spoke to students from the Industrial Systems, Precision Machining Technology, Occupational Safety and Environmental Compliance, and Welding Technology programs. The panel discussions were held at the Industrial Technology Center on the Waco campus.

“Our employer panels were born out of a need to show our students that they have many options for careers with the skills they learn here,” said Alicia Cruz, TSTC’s Career Services director at the Waco campus. “We bring in companies that represent different parts of industry our students may not immediately think of when searching for their careers.”

Jimmy Carter, a chemical, mechanical and polish innovation engineer at Texas Instruments in Dallas, said microchips factor into many industries. He said technicians joining the company need to have mechanical ability, understand electronics, analyze data, and know how to troubleshoot. Carter said working both individually and as part of a team also are important.

Carter said the company is preparing for the future by making microchips that can be used in smaller, faster products. The company also continually prepares for advancements in automation.

“We are in a clean-room environment,” Carter said. “We are talking about microchips. The dust on your hands can kill these products.”

Carter said his advice for students is to be willing to learn as much as possible from workers in the field.

“Learn your strong points and weaknesses,” he said. “Everybody you are working with wants you to be successful.”

Randy Dittmann, a superintendent at Graphic Packaging International in Waco, said the company is seeking technicians who can operate and maintain equipment. He said the company is partnering with TSTC for training some of its employees.

“We are looking for individuals that have a desire to learn and desire to grow into the career of papermaking,” he said.

Dittmann said that in the next decade, the company will adapt more to recycling and develop projects for end uses. He said the packaging sector is vibrant and promising.

Dittmann said his advice for students is to be committed to their career choice.

“Expect to do more than you expected to do for yourself,” he said. “Set goals for yourself and set goals for your team after that, and strive to hit those goals.”

Students asked a range of questions about topics from tools to tuition reimbursement.

Wyatt Ellis, of Bandera, is a certificate of completion student in the Precision Machining Technology program. Ellis was curious about the timing of the job application processes for Graphic Packaging International and Texas Instruments. He said he wants to have a job before he graduates in August.

“My goal is to freshen up my resume,” Ellis said. “I need to add my student work experience. I need to go to (TSTC) Career Services and learn how to use the job board. I need to put a portfolio together with anything valuable to inform employers of the skills I have.”

Other companies represented on the panels included Knauf Insulation of McGregor and Lochridge-Priest Inc. of Waco.

Registration is underway for TSTC’s fall semester. For more information, go to tstc.edu

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