Melissa Polito; Mayra Flores

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College hosted U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, for a tour of the Harlingen campus on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Being a former TSTC student herself, Flores said she was thrilled to return to TSTC.

“It’s very impressive to see the growth of the Harlingen campus as a TSTC alumna,” she said. “It’s amazing to know what TSTC is doing for Harlingen and for the state.”

Members of TSTC’s Harlingen campus administrative team, including Amanda Posada, interim provost and the college’s statewide dual enrollment executive director, and Cledia Hernandez, associate vice chancellor for External Relations and Workforce Development, discussed the programs that are available in Harlingen.

Flores visited the college’s Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Surgical Technology and Welding Technology programs.

The tour began at the Surgical Technology program, where Flores learned about the resources that are enhancing students’ skills.

“It’s amazing to see the latest technologies that are now available for the students,” she said.

Anna San Pedro, TSTC’s Surgical Technology program director, explained that hands-on learning helps students gain the most out of their training.

“Our Surgical Technology students flourish in areas such as instrumentation, reviewing different procedures and engaging with virtual reality.”

The tour proceeded to the Dental Hygiene program, where Flores conversed with students at the program’s on-site clinic. She was intrigued to understand their motivation for that career path.

The next stop led Flores to the Nursing and Vocational Nursing programs, where she learned how the training prepares students for vital roles in health care.

During her final stop, Flores enjoyed a visit to the Welding Technology program lab, where she accepted a hands-on opportunity to control a robotic arm using a pendant device with the assistance of instructor Kenneth Moore.

Flores added that TSTC is already impacting the Texas economy.

“I think it’s important that we continue to talk about TSTC and spread that message to our middle schools and high schools that many opportunities are available at the college,” she said.

Hernandez said it was an honor to have Flores visit the Harlingen campus.

“TSTC was pleased to share the impact that the college is having in the state by offering emerging technical programs, and to help business and industry be competitive through a skilled workforce,” she said.

Posada said the visit was important because TSTC was able to share its goals for the future.

“TSTC is grateful to have Rep. Flores experience the education and training provided to our students that contributes to the Texas workforce,” she said. “Great things are happening as we work to respond to meet industry needs and continue placing more Texans in great-paying jobs.”

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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