(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College hosted state Rep. David Cook, R-Mansfield, for a visit to the Waco campus on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Cook, led by TSTC administrators and staff, visited the Aircraft Pilot Training Technology, Aircraft Powerplant Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology, Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology programs, along with the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners testing facility located on campus.
Cook said he enjoyed seeing the hands-on training opportunities that students have at TSTC.
“I think this gives the students an opportunity to be job-ready and jump out into the workforce as soon as they finish their programs,” he said. “I think it is great for Texas and the future of Texas.”
Cook visited a new virtual reality lab used to teach instrumentation in the Aircraft Pilot Training Technology program. He and his wife, Tonya, experienced what it is like for a pilot by “flying” in a Redbird Flight Simulations 3-axis motion simulator.
The representative visited the Aircraft Powerplant Technology hangar and saw up close a multimillion-dollar, CFM56 high-bypass turbofan jet engine that is used by aviation maintenance students for lab work. The TSTC Foundation received the engine as a gift in 2017.
Cook toured the Welding Technology program, where he welded in the horizontal fillet position using E7018 welding electrodes. Carl Wilmeth, co-lead instructor in TSTC’s Welding Technology program, worked with Cook.
“The visits from legislators are always great,” Wilmeth said. “They see in person what TSTC is doing for the Texas workforce. It can greatly impact funding to welding programs where graduates are in high demand in Texas.”
The state plumbing testing site is the second of its kind in the state, with the other location being in Austin. The center’s purpose is to give prospective plumbers in the state another convenient location to take practical and written exams. The ribbon-cutting for the Waco testing center occurred earlier this year.
Cook’s district encompasses a portion of southern Tarrant County. He is a member of the House Jurisprudence Committee and Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee. Cook is a former mayor of Mansfield.
“Mansfield is a growing area in North Texas,” said Marcus Balch, provost of TSTC’s North Texas campus, which is about 30 miles from Mansfield. “It’s very near the (U.S. Route) 287 corridor where a lot of our industry partners are located.”
For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu.