Students reach for the stars at ULA

BY Amanda Sotelo

In a recent tour of United Launch Alliance, Texas State Technical College students were introduced to ULA employee and TSTC alumna Brittany Campbell.

Campbell, 21, graduated from TSTC in August 2015 with her associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology. The Los Fresnos native said she first became interested in the aviation industry at a young age.

After graduating from Los Fresnos High School in 2013, her plan was to enlist in the United States Air Force. However, when her plans fell through, TSTC was there to give her a future.

“Things happened and I couldn’t take off,” said Campbell. “I found TSTC and the aviation program and decided to give it a try. I ended up enjoying every bit of it and found a job I love.”

Campbell began working with ULA the Monday after she received her degree, although she had officially been hired a few months before graduation. She became familiar with the company at a TSTC job fair and through ULA representative visits on campus.

“TSTC prepared me for this job, there were no surprises,” said Campbell. “The hands-on approach from the instructors trained me for the field. Their help was invaluable to my experience and the skills I gained.”

Tim Pillar, ULA site lead said it is Campbell’s understanding of the industry and abilities that set her apart from other candidates.

“TSTC gives students like Campbell the starting point to take off from when they get to ULA,” said Pillar. “They have an understanding of process and discipline required in the industry.”

During the recent tour at ULA, Pillar told students that ULA’s history with TSTC dates back to 1987 when they opened their doors in Harlingen. The first technicians they hired were trained at TSTC and many more have been hired since then. Pillar added that TSTC is the first place they look for new employees when a position becomes available at their site.

“We see TSTC students as a cut above other candidates,” said Pillar. “By pursuing post high school education these students are already demonstrating they want more earning potential than that from a high school degree.”

More than 70 students who are preparing to graduate within the next two semesters from Aviation Maintenance, Precision Manufacturing, Mechatronics, Telecommunications and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration were invited for the tour.

“The significance of them touring our facility gives students a unique insight into aerospace manufacturing,” said Pillar. “They get a sense for high standards set in the work environment and the importance of our product to mankind and society.”

Viviana Espinosa, interim director of Talent Management/Career Services at TSTC, said the ULA tour was a part of the Employee Spotlight series, a presentation requested by an employer when they are looking to hire TSTC graduates.

“This tour was a little different, usually employers come to campus to talk to our students,” said Espinosa. “But ULA invited us this time and they’re ready to meet and hire our students. We couldn’t be more appreciative of this opportunity.”

To learn more about the services offered by TSTC’s Talent Management/Career Services department call 956-364-4940.

Registration for summer and fall semesters begins April 4. Apply online anytime at