(RED OAK, Texas) – Jose Palacios, of Waxahachie, is already making history at Texas State Technical College in North Texas.
Palacios will be the first student to represent the campus when he advances to the 58th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference being held June 20-24 in Atlanta, Georgia. He will compete in the CNC (computer numerical control) Turning event.
“We are extremely excited for and proud of Jose,” said Marcus Balch, provost of TSTC in North Texas. “His hard work and dedication to his craft has paid off and is being validated.”
Palacios has prepared for the conference by working with software and equipment in class. The challenge for him has been balancing classes, work and getting ready for the trip. He is also preparing himself to fly for the first time.
“I’m hoping that I will be as good as I can,” Palacios said of competing in the SkillsUSA event. “I have a certain level of confidence in what I do and what I know.”
Raiden Dykes, who grew up in Victoria and now lives in Lancaster, is a classmate of Palacios’ in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program. Dykes said he admires Palacios’ attention to detail.
“If he keeps doing what he keeps doing, he will be good,” Dykes said.
Lyle Guinn, an instructor in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program, said Palacios picks up on new skills quickly.
“He’s very studious and takes pride in his work,” Guinn said. “He has an excellent work ethic.”
Palacios qualified for the national conference by placing first in the CNC Turning contest at the SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference held in April in Houston.
“It didn’t sink in,” he said. “I was not sure what the other people showing up knew. I was grateful for it.”
Palacios is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology and is scheduled to graduate in December. He already has a certificate of completion in HVAC Technician from TSTC in North Texas.
“At the time I was studying for HVAC, I worked for a small CNC shop,” Palacios said. “I was introduced to what the machines are and the workflow. I was learning as I went.”
Palacios, a graduate of Red Oak High School, wants to get a good-paying job and stay in the area to work after graduating from TSTC.
SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching employability, leadership and technical skills that can help middle school, high school and college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 competitive events, ranging from 3D Visualization and Animation to Welding Sculpture.
For more information on SkillsUSA, go to skillsusa.org.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.