AUSTIN – Texas State Technical College, a leader in technical education, and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners have partnered to provide a more complete and efficient way to conduct exams for Texan plumbers.
Last February’s winter storm wreaked havoc on tens of thousands of Texans across the state. Many lost electricity, had no access to clean water, and had frozen and cracked water pipes when the state experienced historically low temperatures. The crippling storm underscored the value of plumbers and exacerbated the skills shortage in a fast-growing state.
“Since my first meeting with Chancellor Reeser, it has been clear to both of us that our goals and objectives are the same: to increase the number of licensed plumbers in the state to meet the robust demand of the Texan economy,” said Frank S Denton, TSBPE chairman .
TSTC and TSBPE have partnered as two government agencies to streamline and refine TSTC’s existing plumbing curriculum. Together they will develop a TSBPE Board-approved program that will be available to any educational institution that wishes to implement it.
The program includes both intensive and focused face-to-face and practical laboratory training. Upon successful completion of the program, the student is entitled to take the exam for the limited license to become a craftsman-plumber.
“TSTC is the only state-wide public college in Texas, so it makes sense that we work with the Plumbing Board to provide resources across the state to meet the growing demand for professional plumbers,” said TSTC Chancellor and CEO Mike Reeser . “TSTC has already invested significant resources in this new collaborative effort and, thanks to the extraordinary and innovative partnership with the Board of Directors, will work harder to resolve this nationwide labor shortage in the years to come.”
In addition, the TSTC is building a new high-tech internship exam center in Waco, which will offer qualified nationwide applicants the opportunity to take the plumber’s exam, which will be conducted by TSBPE staff. Construction of the new test center is expected to be completed in January 2022.
Another test center will soon break the ground on the TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
“These new test centers will double and eventually triple TSBPE’s ability to test applicants seeking an installation license,” said Denton. “This would not have been possible without the cooperation and support from TSTC.”
According to onetonline.org, plumbers, pipe fitters, and steamers in Texas can make more than $ 50,000 annually. Employment growth of around 17% is forecast by 2028.
The TSTC in Waco offers a Certificate of Completion in Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Technology, as well as an award for Professional Skills in Basic Plumbing.
“As a result of this new partnership, TSTC intends to expand its plumber training to other locations across the state,” said Reeser.
For more than 55 years, TSTC has focused on fueling the state’s economic development, with an emphasis on providing more Texans with well-paying jobs. By offering hands-on training, TSTC ensures that Texas has a pipeline for skilled technicians to join the workforce in high-demand industries such as plumbing.
For more information on the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, visit tsbpe.texas.gov.
For more information on TSTC, see tstc.edu.