State Comptroller office visits to interview TSTC welding graduate and instructor
The State Comptroller’s Office visited Texas State Technical College recently. They are doing story which includes TSTC’s Mobile Welding Trainer. The story is slated to be released in mid-July.The Mobile Welding Trainer is a completely self-contained, semi-trailer that includes a classroom, eight welding stations and an instructor’s station. All welding and cutting equipment, generator and exhaust systems are permanently installed.TSTC first used the trainer to train workers for Loadcraft Industries in Early, before setting up the trainer at the Brownwood campus to help alleviate the waitlist for incoming welding students. “There were only 20 booths in the shop, and I was number 21 on the list,” said TSTC Welding graduate Kevin Wilcox. “TSTC brought the trainer to campus, so I didn’t have to wait another semester to begin training.” Wilcox moved to Brownwood to be close to family after serving in the Marines. He is currently working as a welder and career goals are to continue his education and become a welding inspector and possibly an instructor.TSTC Welding Instructor Jay Burks was also interviewed for the story. Burks has been with TSTC for nearly two years. He teaches welding at the Brownwood campus. The Mobile Welding Trainer gave Burks the opportunity to expand his class and alleviate the waitlist. “It’s a great experience for our students,” said Burks. “If we had three of these trainers, we’d fill them. Industry is snapping up welders right now.”Texas employs more welders than any other state, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (bls. Gov). The average wage for welders in Texas is approximately $40,000 per year. The two-semester certificate costs less than $5,000 and financial aid may be available. For more information, contact about TSTC Welding programs, contact 325.235.7300 or westtexas.tstc.edu.