Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology program to create talent pipeline for local industry

TSC Safety and Security Command Center

Texas Southmost College is offering a new associate degree program – Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology, a vision of industry created to meet an increasing demand in the field.

“TSC is pleased to announce the opening of the Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology program,” said Murad Abusalim, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “Industry approached us and let us know that this type of program is needed in our region. They needed our graduates. So we listened and responded.”

TSC invested more than half a million dollars in training equipment to prepare individuals from the program to seamlessly transition from the classroom to the work environment.

The Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology hands-on training lab is part of a multi-million dollar training facility expansion approved by the TSC Board of Trustees at the TSC International Technology, Education and Commerce (ITEC) Center.

“Having this new center gives people in our region the chance to train for an in-demand workforce, while giving industry the graduates they need,” said Abusalim. “It’s a win-win.”

The Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology is a 60 credit-hour degree program.

Students of the program will be trained on how to maintain and troubleshoot issues with industrial equipment. The program also incorporates projects using specialized simulation trainers that follow industry standards.

Mike Willis, South Texas Manufacturers Association (STMA) board member and chair of the STMA Education and Workforce Committee said it was back in 2017 when the organization recognized the need for more workforce training in Cameron County and across the Rio Grande Valley.

“After conducting a survey throughout the RGV, we found there was a critical shortage in industrial mechanic and maintenance technicians,” said Willis. “So as an industry we decided to put our resources together to develop a training program with Texas Southmost College that would help fill this gap.”

To design and bring this program together, TSC and STMA formed an advisory committee made up of industry professionals from companies such as RICH Products, Saint-Gobain and CK Technologies.

This group has been instrumental in sharing their perspective and helping TSC understand the demand and skill needs of the industry, eventually creating the Industrial Mechanic and Maintenance Technology program.

The advisory committee also works closely with Festo International Accreditation, a group that creates global industry standards, to incorporate Festo standard credentials and equipment into the program. This will allow graduates to not only earn an associate degree from TSC, but also have globally recognized credentials in the field.

“This is a testament on how true industry partnerships work,” said Willis. “I would like to thank Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez, Dr. Joanna Kile and Dr. Abusalim on committing to create a program that is in demand and that will create a talent pipeline for new jobs and opportunity in our area.”

According to Willis, wages are increasing as the need for skilled industrial mechanics and maintenance technicians is increasing.
The industrial maintenance and mechanics field is expected to increase almost 11% in the near future.
In the Rio Grande Valley, the projected increase in job openings between 2016 and 2026 in all industry sectors for industrial maintenance and mechanics related jobs is 24%. In Cameron County, the increase is 10.8% percent, and in Texas, the increase is 56.2%.
“I can assure you that this program will have local industry and new manufacturing companies in our region stealing this program’s graduates,” said Willis.

Companies recruiting for these positions in the Valley include Mueller Co., National Electric Coil Company and Trico Products. Companies outside of the Valley hiring are Raytheon, Toyota and Alcoa Aluminum.

For more information about TSC’s Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology program, visit or contact TSC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) department at 956-295-3745.

Registration for spring 2021 is currently underway. Classes begin Jan. 18.