TSTC Automotive Technology alumnus Jesus Resendez checks the air filter on a 2024 Toyota Camry as part of his job at Toyota of Pharr.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College alumnus Jesus Resendez could not be more thankful for his automotive career that began last November at Toyota of Pharr.

“I’m a level 2 express technician, which is doing an oil change, a tire rotation and other duties on high-mileage automobiles,” he said. “I was hired for a part-time internship two weeks before I graduated from TSTC. My boss noticed how well I had improved at my job duties. I was promoted to an advanced express technician.”

Resendez graduated with a certificate of completion in Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair from TSTC’s Harlingen campus in 2022.

The Penitas resident said he is pleased with the working culture at the dealership.

“It’s a good learning environment, and the technicians help each other out,” he said.

Juan Cortina is a service manager at Toyota of Pharr.

“The knowledge and skills that Jesus gained at TSTC gave him a good foundation to begin his career at our company,” Cortina said. “He demonstrates pride in his work and ensures that the work is done correctly the first time.”

Resendez was first introduced to automotive engine repair by his father.

“My dad read an online post for a 1953 Chevrolet pickup truck,” he said. “He bought it as a project truck so I could help him restore it. I watched my dad as he worked on the truck’s engine and other areas. I wanted a truck of my own to work on and drive around. I bought a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado.”

That was the turning point that sparked Resendez’s interest in the automotive industry.

“My dad suggested that I pursue an education in TSTC’s Automotive Technology program,” he said. “So I enrolled.”

Resendez credits his career success to his Automotive Technology instructors at TSTC.

“What my former instructors taught me has worked for me, and I’m continuing to grow at Toyota of Pharr,” he said.

Miguel Zoleta is TSTC’s Automotive Technology program director.

“Jesus was dedicated and passionate about his automotive pathway,” Zoleta said. “We are pleased that he has found career success, and more opportunities should come his way.”

The need for qualified automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to grow in Texas over the next several years. According to onetonline.org, Texas employs more than 55,000 of these technicians around the state, and that number was forecast to top 61,000 by 2030. The average annual salary for a technician in the state is $44,810.

In Automotive Technology, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and several certificates of completion at the Harlingen, Sweetwater and Waco campuses.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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