(ABILENE, Texas) – U.S. Military veteran Dylon Moreno enjoys the pace of his Welding Technology classes at Texas State Technical College.
Moreno, who served in the Marine Corps for four years, said having welding experience before enrolling at TSTC paid off with instructors.
“We can go at our own pace. If you know what you are doing, the instructors will turn you loose on projects,” he said. “For the students who need some help, the instructors are there to answer questions.”
Fellow classmates are also on hand to help each other, another aspect that Moreno likes about his time in the lab.
“We like to talk to each other in the lab and make sure we know what we are doing,” he said.
Moreno, who is pursuing an associate degree, said he knew that TSTC would be a good place to train for a career after the military. Originally from Odessa, Moreno moved to Brownwood before enlisting in the Marine Corps. While living in Brownwood, he heard what TSTC had to offer.
“I have always heard about TSTC and the programs they offer,” he said. “I knew it would be a good place to receive an education.”
He learned something else about TSTC when he began the enrollment process.
“The instructors are very veteran-friendly,” Moreno said. “They made sure all of the information I needed to have to enroll was in order. If they did not know, they could always find out what to do.”
Instructor Erik Barnes said helping veterans is one of the best things he can do to ensure that they have a good career path.
“We try to do everything we can for our veterans because they did everything to help protect us,” he said.
Barnes said Moreno is a hard-working student who learns quickly.
“He has been picking up some things really well,” he said. “Dylon is a good student who is always willing to learn and help.”
Moreno said the hardest part of the program for him is balancing his time between studying and working.
“I have learned to adapt to the situation and have loved my time in the program,” he said.
Nearing the completion of his second semester, Moreno already has a goal set for when he graduates.
“I want to work in structural welding,” he said. “I think that will be a perfect fit for me.”
According to onetonline.org, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers earn a yearly median salary of more than $45,000 in Texas. These jobs are expected to increase 13% by 2028 in the state, the highest number in the nation.
Welding Technology is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program, which enables students who do not find a job in their profession within six months of graduation to have their tuition refunded.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.