(HUTTO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education department provides specialized training to employers to meet their needs.
Corina Zepeda, the department’s director of industry relations at TSTC’s East Williamson County campus, began work in summer 2022. She is the first person at the campus to fill the role connecting employers to training opportunities.
How does Workforce Training and Continuing Education find clients to work with?
I have a lot of leads that come to me through TSTC’s website, but most of my relations with industry have been through workforce boards and trades groups, like the chambers of commerce and the economic development corporations. We have a lot of flexibility with workforce training because it is non-credit. When building a new relationship, I like to move quickly into the details of the job descriptions and special projects they work on, along with their wages, hiring capacity, and schedules.
How does Workforce Training and Continuing Education offer training?
The way we offer training is hybrid, off-site or virtual. Company employees can come to campus or we can come to them to do on-site training. What makes company representatives light up the most is the hybrid option. They want to be able to make it as flexible as possible for their workers. TSTC has these amazingly planned-out courses that can lead to credit. For Workforce Training and Continuing Education, we partner with employers and look at our packaged courses, then we may pull out a customized training sequence which syncs with the employer’s requested timeline.
What do employers want right now from their employees?
They want people who are problem solvers. They want people that will take initiative, ask questions and are not afraid to make mistakes. When you go to a manufacturing site, you walk into problems and issues. They want people who can see there is a problem and they know how to fix it and where to go to get answers. They want innovation. All of this can be taught and is embedded in TSTC’s culture and curriculum.
What work is TSTC doing with the Texas Facilities Commission?
We recently worked with two cohorts of employees from the Texas Facilities Commission for HVAC training. They came to our campus and worked with our instructor on their courses. It was specialized according to what their technicians needed to know and get better at. Commission workers are doing online Excel training courses now.
How is TSTC involved in the U.S. Department of Labor’s mold making and injection molding registered apprenticeship program?
We are a training provider of the apprenticeship program. Each employer involved acts as a sponsor of their own apprenticeship program through the Department of Labor. The employers work with their own labor department liaison and their area workforce board to find a training provider. What they can do is either send their existing employees or TSTC will partner with them to help recruit new hires into the apprenticeship program so they can hire them and sponsor them through our training, which can be delivered through any of our modalities. Employers supplement that with job training with their own journeymen level mentor. The mold making and setting apprenticeship starts Friday, April 14, and will last for 144 instructional hours and have a per-class limit of 30 students.
What makes you excited about your work?
This area is a gold mine for training. The need for talent far outpaces the mobility of people moving to the area. I am excited about what we can do here. TSTC is willing and able to be innovative, and that is the only way we are going to work in lockstep with industry.
For more information about TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education department, go to tstc.edu/workforcetraining or email firstname.lastname@example.org.