(WACO, Texas) – Students in Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Power and Controls program learn a range of high-powered information, from how transformers work to circuits and motor control.
The work that students do now prepares them for what they will learn and encounter in their careers. More than 20 students in the Electrical Power and Controls program at the Waco campus will soon take that next step, participating in TSTC’s Summer 2023 Commencement at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31, at the BASE at Extraco Events Center in Waco.
“It was amazing seeing these new students come into EPC for the first time not knowing what to expect,” said Curt Wade, lead instructor in TSTC’s Electrical Power and Controls program at the Waco campus. “Their eyes were as big as saucers. After the dust settled, I remember seeing them in the hallways and classrooms becoming friends and mentors for other students.”
At least three of the program’s candidates for graduation already have jobs.
Luis Almazan, of Waco, graduated from high school and then attended a community college and went to work in retail. He decided during the COVID-19 pandemic that he wanted to better himself. He chose electronics because it is the basis for how everything operates.
“I enjoyed the hands-on aspects of the classroom,” Almazan said. “I went from not knowing what I was going to do to slowly progressing and learning the program is much more than your average going-to-work-at-a-factory job and working on machines. This program can take you in many directions.”
After graduation, Almazan will work as an electrical designer at Oncor in Temple.
Thomas Friend, of Austin, began working in December at NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturing company in Austin, while still taking classes. He will soon start work as an electrical designer at the company.
“It’s very interesting to see the correlation of what I learn here (at TSTC) and how I get to immediately take it to work,” he said. “I get to learn at work and use it at school.”
Friend said he appreciated the instructors’ backgrounds in the electrical industry.
“They are people you can relate to and look up to,” he said.
Liam Fernandez, of College Station, started his college career in West Texas but later worked in the culinary arts and oil and gas fields. He also did electrical work and spent some of his free time learning about theory.
Relatives and friends encouraged him to give TSTC a try.
“I finally feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in myself,” Fernandez said. “There are so many things I failed and gave up on in my life. Finally I am able to say I put my head down and got it down and got through it.”
He began work in May at McCord Engineering Inc. in College Station as an intern, and in the next several days he will become an electrical designer there.
“There is nothing wrong with learning a trade,” Fernandez said. “If I could go back, I would have started this process sooner. There are so many people retiring out and so few going into the trades. It is an economic game. You will be paid more and you will go farther. They need you.”
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.