TSTC Welding Technology graduate Keviyhon Pauley is a full-time welder for Komatsu in Longview. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – Growing up, Keviyhon Pauley’s interest in animals led him to believe that he would one day become a veterinarian. However, his high school agriculture classes helped him find his true calling: welding.

The Laneville native chose to pursue the Welding Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Marshall location, where he received a certificate of completion in 2019. He said he made many fond memories while there.

“Everybody on the campus is just positive; there’s no negativity up there,” Pauley said.

One of Pauley’s positive influences was TSTC welding instructor Russell Hutcherson.

“I’ve watched him grow over the years, from being a young man who I’d talk horses with to a new family man watching his welding career take off,” Hutcherson said. “Perseverance is the word that I’d say fits him best. As his teacher, I know I can pass the welding leads to young men like him and we are in good hands for the future.”

At TSTC, Pauley was awarded the Texan Success Scholarship from The TSTC Foundation. While attending the ceremony, he met some representatives from mining equipment manufacturer Komatsu’s Longview facility, where he now works as a welder.

Willie Ferrell, a journeyman welder for Komatsu, has worked with Pauley for a year.

“He’s come a long way from being a helper,” Ferrell said. “He’s operating the crane, he’s able to make UT welds (ultrasonic testing welds), he has a good work ethic. He gets the job done.”

Pauley encourages TSTC students to fully invest in whatever they want to do.

“TSTC means a lot to me because without TSTC, I don’t think I’d be where I am today,” Pauley said.

According to onetonline.org, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers earn a yearly median salary of $48,500 in Texas, where the number of such jobs was expected to increase by 23% between 2020 and 2030.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and several certificates of completion in Welding Technology, depending on campus location.

It is one of the nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. For more information, visit tstc.edu/mbg.

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

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