(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College student Jazlyn Roque recalls the day when she asked a man what his career as an electrical lineworker entailed.
“(He) talked about a work situation when he left for Florida to help restore power caused by damage from Hurricane Sally in 2020,” she said. “I found his story inspiring.”
At that time Roque was a student in the Auto Collision and Management Technology program at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
“One day I noticed poles going up in a different area of campus,” she said. “I asked my former instructor what was going on. He said the college was in the process of setting up the Electrical Lineworker program.”
That was all Roque, of Mission, needed to help her decide to switch gears and pursue a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology.
She said the program has taught her valuable lessons about safety.
“At the beginning I was afraid to climb the poles because I was afraid of heights,” she said. “I didn’t trust my equipment because I lacked confidence. I’m the only female in the program (in Harlingen), and I let that situation get the best of me. I thought, ‘I used to work in the refineries. If I did that job, why can’t I succeed in this program?’”
Roque’s confidence gradually improved, which led to other students looking to her for leadership.
“I volunteered every time a new lesson was introduced to maintain that confidence,” she said. “Then my classmates started to call me a foreman because I started to direct them when they did a task wrong.”
Her hope is to be an inspiration for prospective students.
“Some high school senior girls recently visited our program, and I was happy to see that,” she said. “That made me realize I can be a role model for females who may find this job interesting.”
Roque’s plans include earning a commercial driver’s license and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30 certificate.
“I want any company to see that I can be a valuable asset based on my knowledge and skill set,” she said.
Javier Garcia, a TSTC Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructor in Harlingen, said Roque’s impact in the electrical lineworker field will be impressive.
“There isn’t any obstacle that seems to faze Jazlyn,” he said. “She still figures out how to get the job done with the heavy material we use in the program. There is no doubt she will become a foreman in her future career.”
According to onetonline.org, electrical power-line installers and repairers can earn an average annual salary of $63,770 in Texas. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a participating graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.