(HARLINGEN, Texas) – For some Texas State Technical College students, having a strong support system is their motivation for success.
For Fabian Rodriguez, of Los Fresnos, the family he has started is his inspiration to succeed in his pursuit of a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
He has also applied that commitment at his place of employment. He recently accepted a job doing lineman drop removal and testing with Spartan Utility Services in Harlingen.
“I know how far I can take my talent based on my work experience,” he said. “I love the adrenaline aspect. I used to work as a top climber (for a tree service) in New Jersey. My job was to remove debris from power lines. Now, at Spartan Utility Services, my duty is to remove old AT&T communication wires from poles.”
Gary Caraway, coordinator for business planning and hiring at Spartan Utility Services, said Rodriguez follows by example and gets his team members on board.
“I was impressed by his safety knowledge and his ability to handle any related lineman activity that Spartan has contracted to perform,” he said. “Rodriguez was ready to do the lineman work on day one. He quickly learned the laptop functions that were required to track job completions and associated items.”
Both of Rodriguez’s brothers also work for the same company and are enrolled in the same program at TSTC.
“I travel with one brother every morning, and we talk about our goals in life,” he said. “It is something I really appreciate.”
Rodriguez learned about the job opportunity with Spartan Utility Services through TSTC instructor Candelario Deanda.
“My Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructor invited the company to our program to conduct a presentation and recruit,” Rodriguez said. “For me, it was a great opportunity to gain extra experience.”
Now in his second semester, Rodriguez said the program provides a quality education.
“The instructors discuss their experiences in the industry and offer personal life lessons,” he said. “That is how they have elevated my knowledge. It provides peace of mind to be ready for what to expect.”
Angel Toledo, a TSTC Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology instructor, said Rodriguez is an excellent climber and student.
“Rodriguez is very dedicated to the program,” he said. “His climbing technique came naturally. It was very impressive.”
Rodriguez plans to complete his degree in December.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical power-line installers and repairers can earn an average annual salary of $63,770 in Texas. Onetonline.org projects that there will be an increase of 16% in the number of such jobs in the state by 2028.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology at its Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, which refunds a graduate’s tuition if he or she has not found a job in their field within six months of graduation.