(HARLINGEN, Texas) – At Texas State Technical College, August is a time to celebrate the highly skilled graduates who will enter the Texas workforce, and now two Aircraft Powerplant Technology students are the recipients of new career opportunities.
Abel Cazares and Fernando Espinoza, each of whom is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree, have accepted jobs as aircraft airframe and powerplant mechanics with Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group that operates more than 160 aircraft on 800 daily flights to over 160 destinations.
Angel Arrazola is an air operations recruiter for Envoy Air.
“What impressed me about Abel and Fernando is their professional attitude and technical knowledge,” he said. “Envoy Air has developed a great partnership with TSTC, and we would love to continue that.”
Cazares, of Edinburg, said he looks forward to starting his new job in Phoenix, Arizona.
“The experience I gain at Envoy Air will help me get a job with American Airlines in the future,” he said. “I first learned about Envoy Air when they conducted a recruitment presentation at our program a year ago. I applied because I liked what I heard.”
He credits his new career opportunity to his TSTC instructors.
“Each instructor has done an amazing job with my education by explaining what aircraft components do, how they work, and how to do the work,” he said.
Cazares became a Federal Aviation Administration-certificated airframe mechanic after completing TSTC’s Aircraft Airframe Technology core courses last fall. He will test for the FAA aircraft powerplant certificate in Houston in September.
Espinoza, of Weslaco, said Envoy Air is one of many companies that have a demand for aircraft mechanics.
“I’m excited to begin at the Abilene location because the job will elevate my skills and lead to career growth,” he said.
Espinoza added that he developed an interest in engines at an early age.
“I enjoyed watching my father work on our family’s automobile engines,” he said. “Years later I heard about the Aviation Maintenance program at TSTC. I became interested in the program because it encompasses mechanical, welding and composites.”
Espinoza became an FAA-certificated airframe mechanic in June and also will test for the FAA aircraft powerplant certificate in September.
Leo Guajardo, TSTC’s Aviation Maintenance program director in Harlingen, said Cazares and Espinoza have set an example by their dedication to the program.
“Both students are top-notch, and their peers will follow in their footsteps,” he said.
According to onetonline.org, aircraft mechanics and service technicians in Texas earn an average of $67,680 a year. The website projected that there would be a 16% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates of completion in both Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology at its Abilene, Harlingen and Waco campuses.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.