SWEETWATER Although Texas State Technical College student Cooper Dorries is on track to receive his diploma later this month, he has already begun his career as a diesel mechanic.
Dorries, a candidate for graduation in Diesel Equipment Technology, knows what he will do the morning after receiving his Associate of Applied Science degree. The Bandera native will return to work at Rush Truck Centers in Tye.
“Rush was one of the places I was interested in working, especially after they visited our campus for an employer spotlight,” he said in a news release. “After the spotlight, I spent time talking to the representatives and really liked what they had to offer.”
Dorries worked as an intern at Rush Truck Centers during the summer semester and was a full-time employee while he completed his courses at TSTC. He will soon transfer to the company’s College Station location.
Brittany Wilson, TSTC’s Career Services coordinator in West Texas, said having students get full-time jobs after attending employer spotlights is one of her goals.
“Students like Cooper make me so proud to work in Career Services,” Wilson said in the release. “Hearing he has a full-time job shows TSTC meets its mission of placing Texans in great-paying jobs. Our students listen to what the industry partners provide and then make the decision that the employer is right for them. Cooper is one of many students who have benefited from our employer spotlights.”
Working with Wilson on resume writing and interview skills helped Dorries realize that he had made the right college choice.
“I did not expect to have all of the resources available when I started school,” he said. “I am leaving here with so many connections and friendships. That is what I like the most about being a TSTC student.”
Dorries said he took what he learned from his instructors into the Rush Truck Centers shop. He did the same from the truck center to the TSTC lab when he was in class each Friday during the fall semester.
“It has been a good experience working at the shop and coming back to the lab,” he said. “It is going to put me so far ahead when I graduate.”
Jody Rocco, service manager at Rush Truck Centers, said Dorries is the type of technician that the company looks to hire.
“Cooper takes advantage of every training opportunity we provide him,” Rocco said in the release. “He pays attention to everything going on around him in the shop.”
Lane White, a TSTC Diesel Equipment Technology instructor, said he saw those traits in Dorries early on.
“He has been a solid student from the beginning of class,” White said. “He has a good grasp of what we are showing him in the lab and taking it to his job. He is going to have a great career in the industry.”
According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were expected to increase 19% in Texas from 2020 to 2030. Such technicians employed in the state earn an annual average salary of $50,970, the website stated.
Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations. Several certificates of completion also are offered.
The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months after graduating, TSTC will refund their tuition in full.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.