Waukesha-Pearce Industries representatives Lauren Schielack, left, and Cris Perez recently visited TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus to connect with Diesel Equipment Technology students.

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – When two Waukesha-Pearce Industries representatives recently visited Texas State Technical College’s campus in Fort Bend County, connecting with current TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology students was just one facet of the company’s relationship with the college.

“It’s for us to get the name out,” Cris Perez, Waukesha-Pearce Industries regional operations manager, said of the recent employer spotlight event. “It also gives us the opportunity to get in front of the students and have them know who we are and what we’re looking for. It’s also good contact with the instructors. That communication helps down the road so we can see if they’ve got someone they can send us.”

Perez also attended TSTC’s Industry Job Fair earlier in the year, hoping to recruit new employees from among the TSTC students and alumni who attended.

Waukesha-Pearce Industries has hired TSTC graduates before. Perez described the impact that new employees with a strong foundation of industry knowledge has on his company.

“We get them to the next level a bit more easily,” he said. “That’s the quality we’re seeing from TSTC grads.”

Perez became part of TSTC’s statewide Diesel Equipment Technology advisory board this year. He welcomes the opportunity to help TSTC keep the program informed of what industry is looking for in terms of training.

“It was good to see the needs from TSTC and to see how we can help and better educate the instructors or students,” Perez said. “If we can provide parts, units or information, we will — whatever we can do to try to assist. This pipeline for us is very critical for what we need and what we want to do with these guys or gals coming into our company in terms of trying to move them in the right path.”

Lauren Schielack, marketing manager at Waukesha-Pearce Industries, said that the nearly 100-year-old company hopes to usher in a new generation of technicians.

“If you’re good with hands-on activities, you should get out there and try that,” she said. “Maybe that will open a door for someone and show them that there’s a different opportunity.”

Judy Cox, a TSTC Career Services coordinator, encourages more companies to pursue relationships like the one between TSTC and Waukesha-Pearce Industries.

“Industry partners on our advisory board keep TSTC abreast of changes in the industry,” Cox said. “They also have the opportunity to donate equipment and expertise — and help shape their future employees.”

Companies that are interested in participating in TSTC’s industry advisory boards should reach out to the Career Services department at any of TSTC’s 10 campuses across the state.

TSTC’s campus in Fort Bend County offers Diesel Equipment Technology training with heavy truck specializations, as well as an occupational skills award in Basic Diesel. The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee. If participating graduates do not get hired in a job in their field within six months of earning their degree, TSTC will refund their tuition.

At 23,950, Texas employs the highest number of diesel engine specialists in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Diesel engine specialists can earn an average annual salary of $47,850 in Texas, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts the number of positions to grow in the state by 14% through 2028.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. Learn more at tstc.edu.

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