TSTC campus in Harlingen hosts chancellor visit

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College is committed to driving economic growth through connecting skilled graduates with in-demand, high-paying careers.

In fact, it is written directly into the institution’s mission statement.

“We’re blessed with a very focused mission of producing technically skilled Texans that are aimed at the high-demand needs of Texas industries,” TSTC Chancellor & CEO Mike Reeser said. “For economic development people, we are the college that was actually chartered to be your partner in terms of making those skilled workers.”

Reeser, along with Cledia Hernandez, provost of the Harlingen campus, and Joe Arnold, TSTC deputy vice chancellor and executive external relations officer, addressed Rio Grande Valley community leaders during a breakfast event Thursday on campus in Harlingen.

“Everyone here is a critical piece of that machine that will bring more training and more success for the students here in the Rio Grande Valley,” Arnold said.

Reeser described TSTC’s funding formula to community leaders, explaining how the college is the only institution in Texas funded solely on its students’ employment outcomes. After the students are in the workforce for five years, TSTC essentially receives a commission from the state based on student placement and performance in their careers.

From 2009 to 2018, TSTC graduates’ salaries increased 141%, according to Texas Workforce Commission wage data.

“We’re putting your taxpayer money to work in the highest value opportunities we can find,” Reeser said. “The students win, the college wins, the state of Texas wins. And your customers — the employers of your region — win. It is a wonderful new approach to education.”

By working with community and industry leaders, TSTC can hone its programs and curriculum to produce graduates ready to hit the ground running in their new jobs.

“What you’ll find very different about TSTC is the depth of the relationship that we make with the employers that are seeking our graduates,” Reeser said. “We’re making sure that the skills we teach are the skills they are going to employ.”

Hernandez agreed. “We are committed to making sure that we meet the expectations and demands of our industry partners,” she said.

Reeser emphasized the college’s commitment to helping the RGV thrive, but he asked for help from community leaders to reach out to families, K-12 educators and young students themselves to make it possible.

“We stand ready to train (students) if you help us get them in the door,” Reeser said. “They’re going to succeed.”

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

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