TSTC’s Welding Technology program regularly hosts contests for its students and other organizations, including the Texas FFA Association. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(MARSHALL, Texas) – The Texas State Technical College Welding Technology program recently hosted the Texas FFA Association’s Area 6 Applied Agricultural Engineering Career Development Event at the Marshall campus.

“We’re trying to showcase what TSTC is willing to do for the local schools, students, and Texans as a whole,” Russell Hutcherson, a TSTC welding instructor, said. “Putting this stuff on for these kids gives us an opportunity to get them into good-paying jobs and a good future where they can support this great state of Texas.”

Michael Bowen, agricultural science teacher and career technology director at Como-Pickton High School, was elected as superintendent of the competition. He said the 60 high schoolers who entered competed in four categories: welding, oxyfuel, blueprint reading, and a 100-question test. The entries for each category were scored on a 100-point scale by the TSTC welding instructors.

“Our hope for this contest is that all students are challenged to meet the standards for the industry,” Bowen said.

The 10 students with the highest scores were awarded medals. The top five teams received banners for their schools, and the top three will go on to compete in the state-level contest at Sam Houston State University.

One of the top 10 students was Edgewood High School student Mason Prewitt, who has been a part of Texas FFA since second grade. The competition was his third time on TSTC’s Marshall campus.

“I like doing this kind of stuff,” Prewitt said. “I think it’s fun.”

Noah Clearo, a student teacher at Union Grove High School, participated in Texas FFA when he was in high school. He was happy to bring four students to TSTC for the competition.

“This is the first applied ag engineering contest I’ve been to,” Clearo said. “They didn’t have this when I was in high school.”

Several of the competitors are considering attending TSTC after they graduate.

“I’ve been on this campus, as well as the Waco campus, multiple times and think they have great programs,” Bowen said. “I always encourage students to look at what TSTC has to offer.”

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

tstc logo