Waco Career Services

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Career Services department hosted three industry panel discussions for TSTC students on Wednesday, May 31.

Company representatives spoke to students in the Industrial Systems, Precision Machining Technology and Welding Technology programs. The panel discussions were held in the Industrial Technology Center on the Waco campus.

Josh Beck, a workforce development manager at United Alloy Inc. in Seguin, said his company was looking for robotics technicians and welders. The company produces UL (Underwriter Laboratories)-certified tanks and trailers, along with full assembly testing, kitting and custom welds.

One of the steps in becoming a welder at the company is understanding blueprints.             

“If you are not comfortable with blueprints, when we bring you on board, we give you a week or two where we offer a blueprint course to get you up to speed,” Beck said.

Norris Chamberlain, an operations support specialist at Prolec-GE Waukesha Inc. in Kenner, Louisiana, said his company’s field service technicians are doing work as part of teams in several states. He said the more skill sets the technicians have, the better.

“It is a rugged lifestyle,” Chamberlain said. “You are on the road all the time. It is a lifestyle decision to come work for our company. But we have people that have been with us for 10 to 15 years and love it.”

Cindy Svoboda, a talent acquisition specialist at Integrated Machinery Solutions in Azle, said the company needs CNC (computer numerical control) machinists with the ability to cross-train. The company produces end trucks, gearboxes, hoists, and other custom heavy equipment.

Svoboda said the company could pay prospective employees for two weeks to stay in Azle and work. If the workers like the company, then their relocation can be paid for by the company so they can join full time.

“We are very interested in seeing you be successful,” Svoboda told the attendees.

Company representatives said attitude, career goals, and a good work ethic are important in the workplace.

“We are looking for ‘athletes’ — people who can come in and play multiple positions,” Chamberlain said.

Noah Wilson, of Gilmer, is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology and is scheduled to graduate this fall. He said he enjoyed learning about the need for machinists and the companies that are willing to give them more training.

“You can literally work in any field as long as there is metal there,” he said.

Wilson chose his program of study after taking classes in another TSTC program.

“This is all brand-new,” he said of the Precision Machining Technology program. “It has been great. There is a learning curve, but as long as you are willing to ask the questions and apply yourself, you will be fine. All the instructors are phenomenal.”

Carl Wilmeth, co-lead instructor in TSTC’s Welding Technology program, said he was glad to hear company representatives talk about how to advance professionally.

“It is good exposure to real-world employer applications in (the students’) job searching,” he said. “It is the realization that it is not all about welding, but there are other options that tie into welding.”

Students asked the panelists a range of questions, including about travel benefits, pay, tuition reimbursement, and work locations.

Other companies represented at the panel discussions were Howmet Fastening Systems, Tenaris, Texas Hydraulics, and Texas Instruments.

Registration continues for the fall semester at TSTC. For more information, go to tstc.edu

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