Texas is widely known as a top business destination for a variety of industries. And while cotton, cattle, and oil may historically come to mind, the versatile state has greatly diversified its economic base over the years.
Currently, Texas’ extensive business portfolio spans not only its flagship industries of petroleum refining and chemical products, but also advanced technology and manufacturing, automotive, aviation and aerospace, biotechnology, information technology, energy, and more.
Texas consistently garners accolades for its pro-business environment, which includes an affordable cost of living, a low tax burden, no personal income tax, comprehensive infrastructure, and state and local incentives.
And then there’s the fact that Texas is home to 13 million workers — the nation’s second largest workforce.
Addressing Workforce Needs
Making sure this workforce is well trained is one of Texas’ top priorities and is why educational and technical training programs are a cardinal component of the Lone Star landscape — especially when it comes to the automotive, aviation, and manufacturing industries.
In fact, 38 public universities and upper-division centers — six of which are state university systems — and 50 community college districts continue to ensure a sustainable pipeline of talent for Texas’ current and future workforce needs.
Further, the Skills Development Fund, the state’s premier job-training program, is a valuable benefit to high-tech companies in need of customized training opportunities and specific skill sets.
Through collaboration among businesses, community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards, and regional economic partners, the state can respond directly to workforce development needs with funds that facilitate targeted training.
A hotbed of economic activity, North Texas is home to solid educational assets that help fuel regional business success.
The automotive, aviation, and advanced manufacturing industries have strong footholds in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and benefit from a robust network of industry-specific educational programs.
From Dallas to Fort Worth — and across the surrounding cities that make up this bustling 13-county metro — there is no shortage of educational programs offering instruction tailored to these evolving industries.
Here is a small sampling of colleges in the area that offer automotive, aviation, and metal/welding instruction:
► Texas State Technical College, Red Oak, Texas
One of 10 Texas State Technical College (TSTC) campuses throughout the state, the North Texas campus houses many of TSTC’s high-tech, advanced career, and technology programs with state-of-the-art labs for students to develop skills critical in the workplace.
Opened in 2014, TSTC’s North Texas campus offers several programs centered around automotive, logistical, and machining skills.
- Computer Aided Drafting & Design Technology
- Computer Networking & Systems Administration
- Diesel Equipment Technology
- Electrical Power & Controls
- HVAC Technology
- Industrial Maintenance-Electrical Specialization
- Logistics Technology
- Precision Machining Technology
“We’re here to help support business and the diverse needs of industry,” said Marcus Balch, provost of TSTC in North Texas. “Our experts can assess training needs and develop customized professional development, technical training, and contract training for all levels of employees from front-line workers to senior-level supervisors.”
► Tarrant County College, Multiple campuses in North Texas
As one of the 20 largest higher education institutions on the United States, Tarrant County College (TCC) offers a broad array of degrees and certificates.
Among its academic offerings, TCC provides automotive, aviation, and welding programs designed to equip students with specialized skills.
- Collision Repair
- Mechanical Repair
- Airframe Maintenance & Electronics Technology
- Welding Technology
- Aviation Maintenance Technology
- Professional Pilot
- Welding Technology, AAS
- Welding – Basic
- Welding – Advanced
- Welding Technician – Basic
TCC has had corporate partnerships with area companies including Bell Helicopter, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), The Safran Group, General Motors Co., Lockheed Martin, and GE Transportation.
► North Central Texas College, Multiple campuses in North Texas
North Central Texas College (NCTC) was established in 1924 and is the oldest continually operating two-year college in Texas. The college offers not only general studies, but an extensive offering of career and technology classes, as well.
Hands-on training affords students an authentic experience with the environment, conditions, and equipment of the job, and builds the communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills employers value.
Industrial-related instruction at NCTC includes:
- Machining Technology, AAS
- Machining Technology Certificate
- Machining Technology, OSA
- Industrial Mechanics, AAS
- Industrial Mechanics Certificate
- Industrial Mechanics, OSA
- Welding Technology, AAS
- Welding Technology Certificate
- Welding Technology, OSA
One-year certificate and two-year degree programs help cultivate students who are ready to hit the ground running in today’s ever-changing workplace.
► Dallas County Community College District, Multiple campuses in North Texas
With more than 100 majors featuring one- and two-year certificates and degrees to help students establish a rewarding career, the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) offers a wealth of options, many of which relate to advanced manufacturing, automotive, electrical engineering, and welding technology.
Programs span a wide range of technical disciplines:
Advanced Manufacturing-Related Programs
- Advanced Manufacturing/Mechatronics Technology, AAS
- Advanced Manufacturing, AAS
- Advanced Manufacturing/Mechatronics Technology Certificate
- Advanced Manufacturing and Design Certificate
- Electrical Engineering Technology, AAS
- CNC/CAD/CAM Certificate
- Advanced Manufacturing Computer Numerical Control/Computer-Aided Manufacturing Skills Achievement Award
- Operator Certificate
Automotive Technology-Diesel and Heavy Equipment
- Preventive Maintenance Technician Certificate
- Advanced-Level Logistics Professional Certificate
- Foundation-Level Logistics Technician Certificate
- Logistics Technology, AAS
- Logistics, Supply Chain Management, and Manufacturing Technology, AAS
- Inventory Control Technician Certificate
- Logistics Distribution Technician Certificate
- Production Process Technician Certificate
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) Certificate
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) Certificate
- Machinist Certificate
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) Certificate
- Welding Technology AAS
►University of North Texas, Multiple campuses in North Texas
A public research university, the University of North Texas (UNT) offers 103 bachelor’s degree programs as well as master’s and doctoral degree programs. The school’s robust educational environment pairs academic excellence with hands-on experience.
UNT is one of the few schools in the area that offers a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation logistics. The curriculum has been developed in consultation with the Dallas-Fort Worth Roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the National Business Aviation Association, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and aviation and aerospace industry professionals.
UNT’s aviation curriculum focuses on the value of integrating aviation and aerospace activities to move people and cargo while incorporating rigorous instruction with practical real-world aviation and aerospace industries applications.
The above programs comprise a mere sampling of the DFW area’s educational programs related to automotive, aviation, and manufacturing industries.
These programs — and so many more — are testament to the network of educational institutions with curriculum designed to support area industries’ needs through educational preparation as well as customized training.
Thanks to a comprehensive educational foundation, North Texas will continue to meet current and future workforce demands of the automotive, aviation, and manufacturing industries and propel the region’s high-tech industries forward.