TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology students Hunter Sturguess (left) and Aaron Turnbough (second from right) discuss their resumes with Heather Bell (right), a talent acquisition analyst for CSI Compressco, following a recent employer spotlight. Also pictured is Cordon Johnson, a service manager for CSI Compressco.

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – When people think of Texas State Technical College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program, often the first thing that comes to mind is an image of big trucks on a highway.

But some students are looking to take the skills they learn to a different industry. During a recent employer spotlight held at TSTC’s Sweetwater campus, Representatives from CSI Compressco spoke to students about the service technician jobs available at their location in West Texas.

Two students, Hunter Sturguess, of San Angelo, and Aaron Turnbough, of Big Spring, made the decision to apply for the positions before the employer spotlight, and after hearing about what the company does and what it provides, they did not regret their decision. They had their resumes ready for inspection by Heather Bell, the company’s talent acquisition analyst.

“This was the best employer spotlight I have been to so far,” Sturguess said. “Natural gas is something I have always wanted to get into, and the company has locations in the areas I would like to be.”

According to its website, CSI Compressco is a leading global provider of comprehensive natural gas compression, treating and cooling services from the wellhead to the pipeline.

Turnbough said he chose to submit his resume because of the career opportunities.

“They provide you with a lot of training and mentorships,” he said. “The spotlight provided a lot of information and knowledge into the company. It grabbed my attention and reaffirmed the reason I decided to apply for a position.”

Lane White, a Diesel Equipment Technology instructor in Sweetwater, said CSI Compressco is looking to hire TSTC graduates. That includes Jennifer Cable, who graduated last month with an Associate of Applied Science degree. She will begin working for the company later this month.

“CSI is on track to be one of the biggest employers of our graduates,” White said. “That is the reason why we are here. We want to see our graduates in great-paying jobs with companies like CSI.”

To help students, White and Shannon Weir, lead Diesel Equipment Technology instructor at the Sweetwater campus, allow them to take time away from class to complete interviews with companies.

“It may seem like a small gesture, but it shows we support our students,” White said.

Sturguess and Turnbough said studying at TSTC has provided them with practical experiences.

“Lane and Shannon treat this like a shop,” Sturguess said of the program’s training. “They are treating us like we would be in the real world.”

Turnbough said he will work with Brittany Wilson, the TSTC Career Services director in West Texas, to prepare for his interview.

“I am more confident in the interview process and will talk with Brittany to get additional pointers,” he said.

Bell said TSTC trains students who are ready to work when they graduate, and she knows that the Diesel Equipment Technology program has the type of people that CSI Compressco needs in the field.

“You are in this program to learn. I know you are going to have the skills to do the job,” she said. “How far you progress (at CSI Compressco) is based on your performance.”

According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were expected to increase 19% in Texas from 2020 to 2030. Such technicians employed in Texas can earn an annual average salary of $47,850, the website stated.

Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion and a Basic Diesel occupational skills achievement award. 

The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, TSTC will refund their tuition in full.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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