Waco Building Construction Technology and SkillsUSA

(WACO, Texas) – Fourteen students from Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus will travel later this month to Atlanta, Georgia, to represent Texas at the 2024 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The students qualified by placing first in events at the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference held in April in Houston.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that can help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 categories in which students can compete.

“TSTC in Waco is eager to show off some of its best students on a national level,” said Abby Ford, a SkillsUSA coordinator for the Waco campus. “The amount of extra time our faculty and students put in to prepare for this challenge is one of the things that sets TSTC apart from our competition.”

Among those traveling to Georgia are students Zacarias Felipe, of Graham, Joshua Lynn, of Waco, and Victor Flores and Hayden Mosley, both of Belton. They will compete together in TeamWorks, a two-day construction contest.

The TeamWorks team already has national experience. Felipe and Lynn competed in individual construction events for TSTC, while Flores and Mosley were on the TeamWorks team representing Belton High School at the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

“We have a really good chance,” said William Morelock, an instructor in TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program. “These students know what is required of them.”

Morelock has been leading his TeamWorks students, along with SkillsUSA Carpentry competitor Chad Robertson, of Belton, in Friday practices. Morelock said he makes practices as difficult as possible to prepare the students for any scenarios they might encounter at the national conference.

“They are running like a well-oiled machine,” he said. “They can figure anything out.”

Flores, an Electrical Construction student, will assist with the TeamWorks project’s early framing work and then do electrical work. He said time management is key to making all of the team’s work successful.

“You can’t be frustrated,” Flores said.

Mosley studies in the Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology program and will handle masonry and plumbing for the TeamWorks project. While TSTC does not have a dedicated class for masonry, Mosley learned the skill when he was in high school.

“I just like to play with the mud,” he said. “To me, it’s kind of relaxing.”

Mosley said the timed Friday practices have been helpful in refining the basics needed to successfully complete projects.

Morelock said the students are aware of the history and tradition of SkillsUSA on campus. The last time a TeamWorks team from TSTC’s Waco campus competed nationally was when they received a silver medal at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

TSTC’s Waco campus will have students in other contests, including Additive Manufacturing, Collision Repair Technology, and Electrical Construction Wiring.

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to skillsusa.org.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu

tstc logo