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TSTC Welding Technology Student Aims to Earn Second Degree

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Laura Torres is a Welding Technology student at TSTC’s Harlingen location. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
Laura Torres is a Welding Technology student at TSTC’s Harlingen location. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
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HARLINGEN, Texas – April is National Welding Month, and Texas State Technical College Welding Technology student Laura Torres is honing her welding skills to meet job demands in the state.

Torres is one of 10 women in the program at the Harlingen location. She was first introduced to welding at Edinburg Economedes High School (now Johnny Economedes High School).

“My former agricultural teacher asked if I was interested in getting certified in welding during the summer before my junior year,” she said. “I said yes. That summer I earned a welding certification. I knew I wanted to study it in college. My uncle is a graduate of TSTC’s Welding Technology program and suggested I look into it. I was given a program tour and loved what I saw.”

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Now Torres is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program.

“Everything our world needs, such as structures, automobiles and pipelines, is by the skills of a welder,” she said. “There will always be a need for this job. That’s what pushes me to improve. The encouragement I get from my family and instructors motivates me to earn my associate degree.”

Torres said her instructors’ industry experience is inspiring.

“My instructor (Juan Uresti) told me job tasks can change in an instant,” she said. “I didn’t think about that. Now I do my best to be ready for any assignment our instructors give us.”

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Samuel Williams is another of Torres’ instructors.

“Laura’s potential has grown since she first started the program,” he said. “Her welding skills are impressive. She has adapted when I challenge her skills with minor, tedious things that will change the outcome of her welds.”

The college’s opportunities have given Torres a new outlook.

“I don’t want to burden my parents with the cost of college,” she said. “I’m thankful that my enrollment coach sends me information about different scholarships. My instructors also offer to stay longer so I can improve at my welds.”

National Welding Month celebrates the welders who keep our nation growing in such industries as construction, automotive and manufacturing.

According to onetonline.org, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers earn a yearly median salary of $48,180 in Texas. These jobs were expected to increase in the state by 23% between 2020 and 2030, according to the website.

Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. For more information, visit tstc.edu/mbg.

Registration for TSTC’s summer and fall semesters is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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