Texas Southmost College of Brownsville continues to develop its industrial sector education by recently celebrating its first graduates in one program and offering a new degree program in another.
The college this month marked its first graduates in its Industrial Insulation program. Nine students were part of the inaugural class. The graduates were promptly offered jobs with BrandSafway, a leading global provider of services for industrial and commercial markets. Juan Salazar, an Industrial Insulation program instructor, expressed pride in his first graduating class and the opportunities ahead for them.
“They will begin as entry-level workers, but we’ve pushed them to go above and beyond,” said Salazar, in a statement released through TSC’s communications office. “If they apply the skills we’ve taught them, there is no doubt they will be successful.”
New Degree Addresses Workforce Shortage
At the same time, TSC is offering a new associate degree in Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology. The college invested more than $500,000 in training equipment to provide a hands-on training lab. Students will learn how to maintain and troubleshoot issues with industrial equipment. Implementation of the 60-hour credit-hour degree program began after employer surveys in the Rio Grande Valley found a shortage of industrial mechanics and maintenance technicians.
“Having this new center gives people in our region the chance to train for an in-demand workforce while giving industry the graduates they need,” said Murad Abusalim, the dean of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics at TSC. “Industry approached us and let us know that this type of program is needed in our region. So we listened and we responded.”
The new program is part of a multi-million dollar training facility expansion approval from the TSC Board of Trustees at the college’s International Technology, Education and Commerce Center. Between 2016 and 2026, job growth for industrial maintenance and mechanics jobs in the Valley should grow 24 percent. In Cameron County, the expectation is by nearly 11 percent.