(WACO, Texas) – More than 20 career and education counselors and teachers throughout Texas learned about technical careers at Texas State Technical College’s TECHcelerate conference held Tuesday, July 11, through Thursday, July 13, at the Waco campus.
Attendees got hands-on experience in some of TSTC’s programs, including Building Construction Technology, Precision Machining Technology and Robotics and Industrial Controls Technology. Participants made cutting boards, tied knots, created ink pens and tried out their newly discovered welding skills.
“We showed them everything that we do and all the processes in welding and what it takes to get things going on the right track for the students to learn,” said Carl Wilmeth, an instructor in TSTC’s Welding Technology program.
The conference’s purpose was to show how TSTC fits into building a strong workforce in Texas.
“I think it was amazing,” said Kadie Svrcek, TSTC’s executive director of dual enrollment. “They all seemed to love it very much.”
Zachary Gibson, a business teacher and head soccer coach at Taylor High School, said attending the conference gave him a better grasp of how to explain to his students the options they have after graduation.
“They (TSTC) have a lot of really cool cutting-edge stuff that not all of the trade schools have,” Gibson said. “This is something that could be a great opportunity, especially when you talk to students who are from disadvantaged areas.”
Gibson said he enjoyed learning about the Precision Machining Technology and the Robotics and Industrial Controls Technology programs, and seeing the equipment students use.
Sergio Salinas, an automotive technology teacher at Dillard McCollum High School in San Antonio, said he was impressed by everything he saw and did during the conference. He liked how much space the Welding Technology students have to work in, along with the food prepared by the Culinary Arts program. He also liked seeing how engaged students were in their programs.
“The instructors are very knowledgeable and they focus more on the students than numbers,” Salinas said.
Ericka Marker, an audio and visuals teacher at Mount Vernon High School, said she became familiar with TSTC through some of her students who planned to enroll after graduating from high school.
Marker said she enjoyed visiting the Auto Collision and Management Technology and Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology programs because they were career areas she was not familiar with.
“If I can learn more to promote the students and their goals, I’m going to do it,” she said.
Marker said she was already thinking of which of her students would be a great fit for TSTC’s programs.
During Thursday’s luncheon, each participant received a certificate of completion and $500 in cash given to them by Mike Reeser, TSTC’s chancellor & chief executive officer.
The conference was sponsored by the chancellor’s office with planning and support handled by the dual enrollment staff.
Registration continues for the fall semester at TSTC. For more information, go to tstc.edu.