(SWEETWATER, Texas) – James Martin, of Mason, has always liked to work with his hands.

After four years of welding classes in high school, Martin is furthering his education in Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology program. He is planning to obtain a certificate of completion in order to work in the West Texas oil fields.

“I have always liked the feeling of working with my hands,” he said. “I like to do that more than sitting at a desk.”

Martin said studying welding at TSTC is easier than his high school welding classes were.

“It is easier because of the amount of time you can spend on a project. We also get more one-on-one time with our instructors,” he said. “It is easier to learn when you can talk to the instructors about what you are doing right and wrong.”

Instructor Taylor Elston said Martin is a hardworking student.

“He completes most of his projects first and takes a lot of pride in his work,” he said. “He will probably be one of the first students to complete all of his projects this semester and will do them well.”

The reason that Martin chose to attend TSTC was simple.

“I knew how TSTC was known to produce good welders. I wanted to learn to be the best I can,” he said.

One portion of the program that Martin enjoys the most is working in the lab, but he also said it is the most difficult.

“We have to get used to the moment that we are doing our profession all day. That is the way our labs are set up,” he said.

He also likes working with his classmates.

“We are very comfortable in class. We are respectful of each other’s work and want to make sure we succeed,” he said. “While it is like a work environment, it is easygoing for all of us.”

Martin also appreciates TSTC’s pledge to help graduates with job searches.

“That is a very good thing, and I am looking forward to working with the staff in helping me find my career,” he said.

Martin said he plans to buy his own welding equipment, knowing that TSTC will prepare him for work. He tells his friends about his experience anytime he can.

“I let people know what a great opportunity they can have by studying at TSTC,” he said.

For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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