(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Joeangel Reyna knew from an early age that he would have a career in which working with his hands was important.
Living in Sweetwater, Reyna had heard positive reviews about Texas State Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program. After touring the program’s facilities when he was a student at Sweetwater High School, Reyna knew that he had found a career opportunity.
“For me, knowing that I would be learning hands-on and not just from a book was why I enrolled in the program,” he said. “By the time I graduate (with an Associate of Applied Science degree), I know that I will be able to start my career.”
Reyna said the campus tour was beneficial because he was able to talk to instructor Russell Benson one-on-one.
“Russell spent so much time with me on the tour and was able to give the ins and outs of what I would be able to learn,” he said. “It helped me understand that the program was exactly what I was looking for.”
Benson sees a remarkable drive to succeed in Reyna.
“Joeangel is one of the real standouts in this class. He is a natural leader,” Benson said. “He is doing all of his work, and when we have the (employer) spotlights on campus, Joeangel makes sure he talks to the employers.”
Reyna said employer spotlights are important to him because they provide the chance to learn about different job opportunities.
“Going into the program, I knew about some of the careers available,” he said. “Listening to different companies has helped me narrow down where I would like to work.”
Reyna said he hopes that more Sweetwater High School students take advantage of the programs available at TSTC.
“It is surprising to see everything that is available in our hometown college,” he said. “It is definitely a place Sweetwater students should look into because you can stay home, and when you graduate, there will be many job opportunities ready for you.”
The job outlook for the wind energy industry is bright. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas was forecast to increase 102% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $56,640, according to the website.
TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.