TSTC homecoming: Instructor finds his way back a second time
After five years away from Texas State Technical College, Artemio Olivares is back as the precision machining technology instructor at the college’s newest campus in Fort Bend County.
As an alumnus and instructor, Olivares knows the many facets of the college. He was first introduced to TSTC when it was Texas State Technical Institute in the ’80s as a student in machine shop operations. He graduated with a certificate in 1985.
“TSTC set me up for success,” said Olivares. “I had a family to support and with the training I received I was able to provide.”
Immediately after leaving TSTC he landed a job with National Oilwell in the oil and gas industry as a machinist earning several promotions through the years and an opportunity to continue his education with the company reimbursing his tuition.
While working full time, he attended Southwest Texas State University part-time, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology manufacturing in 1995.
“It took me nearly 10 years to finish my degree,” he said. “It was hard work, but it was worth it.”
Olivares was no stranger to hard work, he served in the Army from 1977-1980 as a Specialist Fourth Class based in Germany.
“I’ve done a little bit of everything and that’s why teaching always seemed right,” Olivares said. “I want to share every single one of my experiences with students who are looking for a path or working toward a goal.”
In 1996 and for 14 years thereafter Olivares was the precision machining technology instructor at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
“The students I taught were so ambitious to be successful,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better job or students, but there came a time when I was ready for a change.”
Olivares ended up returning to National Oilwell Varco (NOV) for five years before the slowdown in the oil and gas industry led to his layoff.
“It’s like they say timing is everything,” said Olivares. “The job at TSTC couldn’t have come at a better time.”
When the opportunity at TSTC presented itself, Olivares was on campus for a job training with NOV. Olivares said one thing led to another and he is glad to be back.
“I left TSTC to catch up on industry and the advancements in technology in my field,” he said. “I’m glad to be back though and I’m excited for the opportunity of teaching students the foundations they need to be successful.”
When Olivares is not in the classroom motivating students to reach their goals he is spending time with family, fishing or off-roading.
“I’m at a great place in my life right now,” he said. “And I’m glad I’m back.”