Texas State Technical College alumnus Joseph Casassa never imagined that one class a semester at TSTC in Fort Bend would lead to life changes and a dream career.
The Orchard, Texas native ended up at a small machine shop after high school and stayed for several years. The company gave him an opportunity to return to college to sharpen his machining skills. Casassa was a little hesitant because he knew the workload that was about to come his way, but he went for it anyways.
“Honestly, I saw this as a great way to get away from the shop one day a week,” said Casassa while laughing. “But once I was there I was hooked. I ended up staying to finish the entire program.”
While in school, Casassa was promoted within the company. He went from machine operator to machine programmer. Casassa began to see what a difference getting an education was making in his career.
Casassa started pursuing his associate degree in Precision Machining Technology at TSTC in 2009. He realized his dream of graduating in 2012, by then he also had a program certificate under his belt.
“It took me longer than normal since I had to work full-time and do school part-time, but I wouldn’t change anything. TSTC is a great school,” said Casassa. “When I started I didn’t think I would ever end up where I did. It was definitely a good thing for me and my family.”
Since graduating from TSTC, Casassa has worked for Schlumberger in Sugarland as a Development Technician and has now been with the company for five years.
“Joseph is a very skilled machinist and his abilities are impressive,” said Paul Wanjau, engineering manager at Schlumberger. “He fits in well with our team. His work performance is exceptional and he has been very successful here.”
Casassa credits his instructor Michael Barnes for helping him land this job opportunity. He said Barnes is a great instructor always working to ensure that his students succeed.
“I wouldn’t have the job I have now if it wasn’t for Michael Barnes or the program,” said Casassa. “Schlumberger called the college looking for an employee and Mr. Barnes gave them my name. I was afraid things wouldn’t work out, I was nervous for the interview. I really wanted to work for them. Ultimately, I got the job and I owe it to Mr. Barnes.”
Casassa said this job was a huge step up from where he was when he first started college. He went from a small, private company with no benefits to a world-wide oil company with employee/family benefits.
“Really TSTC changed everything for my family and me,” said Casassa. “It helped me provide them with a better life.”
The TSTC alumnus said he hopes to one day move up at Schlumberger so he will be working hard toward becoming a mechanical designer. Casassa’s future may also include returning to college to pursue a bachelor’s degree. As he points out, his possibilities are now endless.
“When I started at TSTC I already had experience in the field,” said Casassa. “But I want future TSTC students to know that at TSTC you learn a wide array of specializations in each field, no matter what you study. As long as you’re willing to learn, everyone on campus is willing to help you succeed. The training I received there is invaluable.”
Precision Machining Technology is one of seven programs to be offered at the new TSTC campus in Fort Bend that will open this coming fall. For more information on the Precision Machining Technology program at TSTC in Fort Bend County call 281-239-1548.
Precision Machining Technology is also offered at the TSTC North Texas, Williamson County and Waco campuses.
Registration for Summer and Fall 2016 is in progress. Apply or register anytime at tstc.edu.