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The first graduating class of linemen from Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County will walk the stage in April with their certificates and a sigh of relief, knowing they have jobs waiting for them.

All eight graduates have been offered employment with Dashiell Corp. upon completion of the program. Dashiell is a leading national provider of technical services to the electric utility, power generation and energy industries.

Troy Eads, instructor of TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology, said he had been working with a couple of companies to help find his students jobs.

The representative from Dashiell was the first to see the students in action, Eads said. “After he talked to them and saw them climb, he said, ‘Yeah, I’ll take them all.’”

Eads said he wasn’t really surprised that the company wanted all of the students.

“I try to teach them everything they need to know,” Eads said. “I wasn’t surprised that any company that came through would (hire them all) because we have a great program. Most schools have a 15-week certification, and we have 45 weeks. You learn a lot more in 45 weeks. We have a good curriculum and great students.”

Student Darryl Jackson said he feels good about having a job before graduating.

“Just a couple of years ago, I really didn’t understand where I would be at,” Jackson said. “Now I’m a few months away from graduating school, and I already have a job. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, like I actually did something.”

Jackson said he didn’t expect to have a job lined up so soon.

“I was really expecting that we’d graduate and have to go out and find our own jobs,” he said.

Though the students are taught the job skills they need, the program goes a little further than that.

“We go in-depth with what we teach them,” Eads said. “They learn not only about the work, but things like showing up on time also. There’s responsibility involved. We teach them about going through the interview and stuff like that as well — the soft skills.”

Jackson said it was those things that made the program special to him.

“It changed everybody in the program, including me,” he said. “We all had our ways about us, and Troy pointed those things out and showed us what wouldn’t work.”

As for now, the students are counting down the days until they begin their new jobs.

“I can’t wait,” Jackson said. “It’s something we talk about every day now.”

TSTC will begin registering students for the summer and fall semesters on Monday, April 2. For more information on TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology, visit tstc.edu.

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