Texas State Technical College

04/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/20/2024 01:02

TSTC students back at SkillsUSA and ready to win gold

(HOUSTON, Texas) - The SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference has kicked off, and Texas State Technical College has students competing in a variety of skills. Along with other students representing roughly 30 different technical and community colleges across the state, they have gathered in Houston looking to win big.

For a few of those TSTC students, this is not the first time they have competed.

Juan Cerda, a graduate of the Precision Machining Technology program at the Marshall location, is back and looking to do even better than he did last year.

"I got fourth at (SkillsUSA) nationals last year," Cerda said. "So this year I wanted to come back and try one more time for a medal."

Cerda has been machining since high school. Many of the other students in his class were picking up welding at the time, but he wanted to try something different. In preparation for the SkillsUSA CNC 2-Axis Programmer competition, Cerda has been spending time studying, reviewing and working on the fundamentals.

He is not the only one. Daniel Rendon, a student in the Biomedical Equipment Technology program at the Harlingen location, has also been working hard with his team in preparation for the Engineering Technology Design competition this weekend.

"I've been doing supplementary reading, asking a lot of questions, and going over the material with my teammates," Rendon said. "We even met up this week to go over everything one more time."

Rendon has been studying to go into the medical field after switching from the Automotive Technology program. He says his family is a big reason as to why he switched, with almost all of them being in the medical industry in some capacity. Last year, he got third place in the Job Skill Demonstration competition.

Austin Stowe and Sergio Bazaldua, part of a team from TSTC that will be competing in Cybersecurity, are also back to try for a gold. Both competed in the Information Technology Services competition at last year's SkillsUSA and got first and second place, respectively.

"I had a lot of fun last year," Bazaldua said. "It was a great experience. We've been working hard with our instructor to prepare for this year's competition."

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that can help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 categories in which students can compete, from 3D Visualization and Animation to Welding Sculpture.

For more information on SkillsUSA Texas, go to skillsusatx.org.

Registration for TSTC's summer and fall semesters is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.