TSTC students prepare for competitions at upcoming SkillsUSA Texas conference

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Kevin Hill (right), a TSTC Mechatronics Technology student, practices using a programmable logic controller while fellow student Mia Segueda tests for inconsistencies in preparation for the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference. (Courtesy: Texas State Technical College/TSTC)

HARLINGEN — The month of April promises to be a thrilling and competitive challenge for more than 80 students from Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen location.

The students are preparing for the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference, which will be held April 18-20 in Houston.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 categories of competition.

Anahi Garcia, of San Benito, is an Emergency Medical Services student who is scheduled to compete in the First Aid – CPR category. Previously she competed in SkillsUSA at the secondary level.

“My high school experience competing in SkillsUSA was fun,” she said. “I decided to give it a try and represent the EMS program. I look forward to the challenge with my teammates.”

Daniel Rendon, of Alton, is a Biomedical Equipment Technology student who is preparing to compete in the Engineering Technology – Design category. He participated in last year’s event.

“I want to show how much I’ve improved after I earned third place last year,” he said. “I’m determined to earn a medal or two before I graduate.”

Kevin Hill, a New Braunfels native who lives in Harlingen, is a Mechatronics Technology student who plans to compete in the Mechatronics category.

“This will be my first time competing,” he said. “I love robotics and what I’m currently learning about PLCs (programmable logic controllers), hydraulics and pneumatics. It will be interesting to see the competition we’re up against.”

Eladio Jaimez, provost at TSTC’s Harlingen location, said students who are competing represent the future of the Texas workforce.

“(They) have been working hard and take immense pride in their work,” he said. “It’s a reassurance that the future is in good hands.”

Additional categories in which Harlingen students will compete include Automotive Service Technology, Robotics – Urban Search and Rescue, and Welding Fabrication.

Students who earn gold medals will move on to the 60th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference being held June 24-28 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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.