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(HARLINGEN, Texas) – With the SkillsUSA state competition scheduled for April in Houston, pride and commitment set the foundation for many Texas State Technical College students who are preparing for it.

TSTC student Jeffrey King, of La Feria, will represent the college in aviation maintenance while also supporting some of his classmates who will compete in the same area.

“I have been preparing for generalized skills,” he said. “Some of those include the timing of the aircraft ignition system. Then there are the different types of engines and the types of aircraft propellers, such as fixed pitch and ground adjustable.”

King earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Airframe Technology from TSTC in fall 2021. Now he is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Powerplant Technology.

“My perspective of the SkillsUSA state competition is similar to a client who is requesting their airplane’s engine to be fixed,” he said. “I have to figure out how to get the engine performing again.”

Leo Guajardo, a TSTC aviation maintenance instructor in Harlingen, said he is glad to have King represent his program at the SkillsUSA competition.

“The aviation program has SkillsUSA expectations built in, and my expectations are high,” he said. “Jeff is always positive and possesses a ‘make it happen’ attitude. I know he will do great.”

Anyssa Huerta, of Harlingen, will represent TSTC in masonry at the SkillsUSA state competition.

“I placed in the top three in masonry at the SkillsUSA competition for Harlingen High School,” she said. “Through that achievement I earned a $1,000 scholarship. Now I am expanding my knowledge in masonry and other areas in TSTC’s Building Construction Technology. The SkillsUSA competition is a large platform, and I am looking forward to networking.”

Huerta is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

The second-semester student added that she enjoys the program because it is an engaging learning experience.

“I observe every detail of my work, and I receive great insight from my instructors,” she said. “It is a great feeling to know I built something with my own two hands. This is also why I am looking forward to the competition.”

Rick Vargas, a TSTC Building Construction Technology instructor in Harlingen, noted that Huerta has been an exceptional student from the beginning.

“Her experience in the high school masonry class showed her a specialized skill in construction,” he said. “This was very helpful for her to transition to our program. She will represent us well in the SkillsUSA state competition.”

To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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