Students in TSTC’s Welding Technology program in Brownwood have worked on a security gate and fence for the Boys & Girls Club of Brown County. Pictured are (from left) instructors Salvador Marquez and Daniel Aguirre and students Tabitha Bishop and Sabrina Stewart.

(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – The nonprofit Boys & Girls Club of Brown County knew where to ask for help to keep children safe.

Katherine Palmer, the club’s chief executive officer, asked the Texas State Technical College Welding Technology students for their assistance. The students were excited to be asked to build a security gate and fence for the club.

“We have been looking to upgrade our security for some time,” Palmer said. “Something that was important for me was to have our middle school and high school students see a potential career in a trade. That is why I asked TSTC to get involved.”

Raquel Mata, associate provost of the TSTC campus in Brownwood, knew that helping the club would benefit both the TSTC students and the club members.

“I am proud that our welding students get to work with such an outstanding organization in our community,” she said. “This project will help keep the children of Brown County safe.”

TSTC students Tabitha Bishop and Sabrina Stewart have taken pride in working on a project that will benefit the community.

“It is exciting to be doing this for the community,” Bishop said.

“This is a wonderful project for all of us. I was excited to learn we would help the club,” Stewart said.

Daniel Aguirre, a TSTC Welding Technology instructor, is overseeing the students’ work. He said plans are to have the project completed by the end of the spring semester.

“This project will teach our students many different skills, including fabrication,” he said. “They have learned to work from the ground up in welding the gate and fence.”

Aguirre said a welding career will offer students different experiences, including work on a community service project.

“Welders are going to do these kinds of small jobs,” he said. “Anytime you are able to help your community, in any profession, you need to step up. That is what I wanted to show our students.”

Stewart said the project is providing her with a different opportunity in the welding lab.

“This gives us some real-world experience, and the gate is going to be something everyone can see,” she said. “I will be able to tell people that I worked on that while I was in school.”

Palmer said she hopes to collaborate with TSTC on future projects.

“We have been excited to be working with TSTC on this project and hope we will be able to do more,” she said.

According to, welders can earn a yearly median salary of more than $47,000 in Texas. Welding jobs were expected to increase 23% between 2020 and 2030 in the state, according to the website.

TSTC offers Welding Technology at each of its 10 campuses located throughout Texas. Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to participating students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months after graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit

For more information about TSTC, visit

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