Texas Border Business
HARLINGEN, Texas – Her curious nature led Denice Acosta to the Wind Energy Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus.
A few years ago, when she was an Agricultural Technology student at TSTC, Acosta accidently stumbled upon the back entrance of the campus’ Engineering Technology Center.
“I immediately noticed high-tech equipment after I entered the building,” she said. “I wondered which program it belonged to. Then I saw many posters for the Wind Energy Technology program, and that moment stayed with me. I graduated from the Agricultural Technology program in 2019. Three years later I enrolled in TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program.”
The Harlingen resident’s math skills are serving her well as she pursues an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program.
“There is a lot of mathematics involved, and I’m great at it,” she said. “The instructors teach the concepts of unit conversions, measurements, and calculations of lab concepts. I have been able to grasp that knowledge.”
Acosta added that she has learned important lessons about procedures and safety.
“Communicating and getting along with your team is important because you will be working with them throughout the day,” she said. “Also, having a safe work environment is crucial. For example, if a step is missed in our labs, an electrical circuit can malfunction.”
Acosta strives to make each lab assignment a valuable learning experience.
“I’m aware that having minimal errors with our hands-on assignments can catch an employer’s attention,” she said. “My favorite assignment has been in the Basic Fluid Power course. Each student had to connect conductor hoses to a tank that holds pressurized oil, and also connect hoses to pressure gauges that allow a disk to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. The purpose was to convert liquid into mechanical energy.”
Mario Sanchez, a TSTC Wind Energy Technology instructor in Harlingen, said Acosta has demonstrated an aptitude for the program.
“Denice has never backed down from a challenge,” he said. “She will continue to learn and absorb every aspect of this field to have a better life.”
The job outlook for the wind energy industry is bright. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas was forecast to increase 102% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $56,640, according to the website.
TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.