(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Darwin Henriquez is pursuing a certificate of completion in the Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County campus. He is scheduled to graduate in December.
Henriquez, of Missouri City, is a graduate of Hightower High School.
How did you become interested in TSTC and your program of study?
I was interested in TSTC because of the Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program. I like the idea of working on power lines and being able to make an impact and help the community out in storms and emergency situations. I have family that have gone through this program and are out there working, and they convinced me. I saw the benefits of this program where it could impact our lives.
What was the first semester like for you?
Everything was new to me in the first semester. Climbing up, it is a little scary at first, but once you get up there (to the top of the pole), it becomes second nature. Once you are working, you are not worried about the height, but getting the task done.
What is a typical class day like?
Classes start at 8 a.m., but I was taught to be at class 30 minutes early. We do some learning in the classroom, going over lessons and what we will do outside. Once we go over everything, we go out to the pole yard, and we get our hands-on time and practice multiple times. The latest we are here is 5 p.m. After I am done, I go home, go to the gym, return home and relax.
What is your favorite part of the Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program?
It would be getting out there and learning new things. There is always something different. There is not just one way to do something, but there are multiple ways. I am a hands-on learner. If I can see it and do it and practice, and the more I do it, the more I can master it.
How important is safety?
Everyone is trying to go home safe to their families and get their work done as safe as possible and take no shortcuts. Safety is always our top priority. We have fall-restraint belts, and we carry hand lines. We practice pole-top rescue dummy training.
What advice would you have for prospective students?
I would tell them to look around at new avenues because you never know what is out there. See what works best for you and what you will enjoy doing the most. See if you are more hands-on or technical or can sit down in a classroom. Or, would you rather be outside moving around with your hands?
What are your plans after graduation?
I am thinking about joining the local union and looking into getting a local apprenticeship. My father is in the local union, and I have seen its impact and that is why I want to go to the union. I am also looking forward to traveling in the future. I look forward to giving aid and helping to get the power back on when natural disasters occur.
Electrical power-line installers and repairers in Texas made an annual mean salary of more than $68,000 as of May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 130,700 electrical power-line installers and repairers will be needed in the United States in 2031, according to the agency.
TSTC is proud to recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from mid-September to mid-October.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.