TSTC is a life-changer for precision machining grad

Juan Garcia

By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff

Texas State Technical College has been there for Juan Garcia during different parts of his life. Now it has given him a career he is excited about and loves.

Among the 42-year-old’s achievements at TSTC was receiving a certificate and associate degree in Precision Machining Technology in 2015.

Because of this, he said numerous doors of opportunity he never thought possible opened, giving him the chance of a better life.

“TSTC has been great for me,” said the Harlingen native. “It gave me a foundation and complete technical knowledge in my area. I even got a job before graduating.”

Garcia has been employed with alloy casting company Delta Centrifugal in Temple since getting his degree and has already seen a promotion.

He started as a manual machinist, and in this position he was cross-trained throughout the company. So when the opportunity of being promoted to inventory control specialist came along, he ran with it.

“Delta Centrifugal has been such a wonderful company to work for,” he said. “I don’t regret moving and leaving the Valley. I have great pay, benefits and the opportunity to grow, which is why I made the move. Plus, there are at least 20 of us here who are TSTC alumni, so that brings home closer.”

Garcia said this isn’t the first time that TSTC has had an impact on his life.

As a high school dropout, he finished his general education development diploma at TSTC and simultaneously discovered the college’s programs.

One of those programs was Automotive Technology, in which he earned a certificate in 2002 and an associate degree in 2011.

Afterward Garcia managed local auto parts stores and began the process of opening his own automotive business. But when he realized that machining was a big part of it and as he grew passionate about the field, he switched directions.

“TSTC has changed all aspects of my life,” said Garcia. “Growing up, I was told often that I wouldn’t achieve anything in my life. But being introduced to TSTC was the best thing that could have happened. I feel like I’ve come a long way because of it.”

One of the things Garcia said he always wanted but never thought he would have was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Partly because of the opportunities introduced to him through TSTC, he is the proud owner of a brand-new one.

That is why he said he emphasizes the importance of a college education to his children.

His son is currently a student in TSTC’s Digital Media Design program.

“Education is No. 1,” he said. “And TSTC has proven to me that education is for everyone, and they’re ready to point us in the right direction and see us succeed.”

Garcia said he hopes to continue growing at Delta Centrifugal and offers advice to others who may be feeling defeated.

“Never believe what others say about you,” he said. “You can do and be whatever you want in life. I’ve lived it. I’m living proof that success is around the corner with hard work and determination.”

Precision Machining Technology is also offered at TSTC’s East Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas and Waco campuses.

For more information on Precision Machining Technology, visit https://tstc.edu/programs/PrecisionMachiningTechnology.