(WACO, Texas) – Five technical programs at Texas State Technical College were recently recognized by the Office of the Governor’s Texas Workforce Investment Council at a ceremony in Austin.

Associate of Applied Science degree programs for Biomedical Equipment Technology, Electrical Lineworker Technology, Process Operations, Solar Energy Technology and Wind Energy Technology were recognized for merging industry-defined skills standards into hands-on learning.

“Being recognized by the TWIC is the culmination of hard work and dedication of the program leads and instructors,” said Tony Abad, a member of TSTC’s Board of Regents. “The best part is that the students are the real winners.”

With TSTC students learning the skills standards, the programs are meeting the needs of state employers in creating a competitive workforce, according to the TWIC.

Mark Plough, TSTC’s statewide department chair for Biomedical Equipment Technology for the Harlingen and Waco campuses, said it was easy to include the standards in the curriculum.

“Since we have the equipment and the instructors with the background of field experience, I think that helps us a lot,” he said.

Plough said the caliber of students coming into the program is improving.

“The students are more motivated,” he said. “We are able to place our graduates. Our program is recognized as one of the top programs in the country for two-year technical and community college-type programs.”

Eric Carithers, TSTC’s statewide department chair for Electrical Lineworker Technology for the Fort Bend County, Marshall and Waco campuses, credited the Texas Workforce Commission for using industry data to define key skills needed to be successful in technical occupations.

“Being recognized by the TWIC ensures that our students are being taught the most up-to-date and relevant skills in their pathway to the workforce,” Carithers said. “This is a large part of what makes our students from these programs elite to our industry partners.”

Other TSTC programs receiving the recognition are the Process Operations program in Marshall, the Solar Energy Technology program in Waco and the Wind Energy Technology program in Harlingen and Sweetwater.

“With this recognition, students have a state of Texas golden seal on their certificates of completion,” Carithers said. “With this seal, it is stating that our programs are being backed by the governor of Texas. What a wonderful thing to be able to tell a prospective student. Not many people can put that type of credential on their resume.”

Only 23 Texas colleges offer programs with the industry-defined skills standards designation, according to the TWIC.

The TWIC promotes the development of a highly-skilled, well-educated workforce and meets the needs of Texas businesses of all sizes. The TWIC carries out these mandates through strategic planning, reviewing local and state workforce plans and maintaining the Texas Skills Standards system.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to www.tstc.edu.


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