(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College Electrical Power and Controls instructor Kevin Staton has one goal for his students.
“We are training Texans to work in Texas,” he said. “When students graduate from our program, they can work in almost any state or foreign country. Anywhere there is control work, there is a job for our students.”
The demand for electrical power and controls technicians is always high, and TSTC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program at the Abilene, Fort Bend County, North Texas and Waco campuses.
In West Texas, Staton has seen the need for technicians at several utility companies, including Taylor Electric Cooperative, American Electric Power and Oncor. He said some students have found employment at warehouses in Texas, including for Amazon.
“West Texas, and especially Abilene, is growing. Things are getting bigger, and companies are looking to expand,” he said.
He said utility companies will need someone to work on transformers, and TSTC provides training for that.
“We offer more than just one area of study,” Staton said. “We teach a wide variety of programs that are in the electrical field.”
He said another area is substation operations, and students will also learn how that process works.
Students have access to labs that include industry-standard electrical distribution, transmission, equipment testing, automation, instrumentation motion-control tools, transformers and electrical motors.
Staton said the first thing students learn is the importance of safety.
“Safety is the key to being a good technician,” he said.
Staton said he not only teaches in the classroom and lab. If a student needs extra help after class, he is willing to help.
“When I was younger, someone always helped me. I want to make sure to do that now. I want to be able to give back and help the students,” he said. “I take pride in being flexible to help students.”
Staton tells prospective students that the program offers a guarantee.
“We are part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. That proves that we want to make things happen for our students,” he said.
The Money-Back Guarantee program refunds the tuition of participating graduates if they do not find a job in their career field within six months of graduation.
“In my two years at TSTC, we have had a high success rate in finding (welding) graduates a job. Only one did not find a job after six months, but it was because he chose another career path,” Staton said.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.