AEP Foundation grant benefits TSTC Lineworker program

AEP Texas President Judith Talavera (center) is joined by TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser, along with representatives from AEP Texas and TSTC, during the check presentation in Harlingen on Oct. 30. Some Electrical Lineworker students can be seen on the poles in the background. Courtesy: TSTC

Representatives from AEP Texas paid a visit to Texas State Technical College at the end of October to present a check for $300,000 to The TSTC Foundation on behalf of the AEP Foundation.

The gift will make a difference for deserving students who are pursuing a degree or certificate in Electrical Lineworker Technology at TSTC. It will also be used to purchase equipment and additional supplies needed for students to complete the program.

AEP Texas External Affairs Manager Daniel Lucio said that companies appreciate the dedication and effort that TSTC puts into ensuring that students are well-equipped for their careers as lineworkers.

“Electrical Lineworker Technology at TSTC will provide students the education and on-site training that will prepare them for the grueling, but rewarding, opportunity to serve their community as an essential worker,” he said. “At AEP Texas, we understand and appreciate the need for committed linemen.”

That commitment comes not only from students and instructors, but also from dedicated professionals like Richard Mesquias, a TSTC senior field development officer who understands the difference that college funding makes for students in South Texas.

“This life-changing gift of $300,000 to The TSTC Foundation will go directly toward helping students pursue an Electrical Lineworker Technology certificate or degree, as well as other technical degrees offered at TSTC,” Mesquias said. “The generosity shown from the AEP Foundation will impact students for years to come.”

AEP Texas President and Chief Operating Officer Judith Talavera expressed excitement about the potential benefits that will result from the funding.

“It gives me so much hope to imagine all the possibilities that will come from this grant,” she said. “This is an industry that is growing as our communities grow, and we are here to help you support it.”

TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez spoke about the importance of partnerships between TSTC and industry leaders.

“TSTC is proud and honored to have a close relationship with business and industry leaders to keep the Texas economy moving,” she said. “This grant will provide critical financial assistance where it is needed.”

TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser said that a career as an electrical lineworker is not like the average day job.

“This is a career with adventure,” he said. “It is a career that allows you to make a giant difference in your community while giving you the opportunity to make an outstanding living. The place to get started is at TSTC.”