House Bill (HB) 4997, which will allow Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to operate by right in Comal and Guadalupe counties, has successfully passed both chambers and has been signed by the Governor. This is a major accomplishment for Guadalupe and Comal counties and for the cities of Seguin and New Braunfels.
Current service area jurisdiction rules prevent TSTC from providing its programming without the established district community college first declining to serve as the educational provider. HB 4997 gives TSTC flexibility to bring in new programs without going through the process of offering the right of first refusal each time.
The bill, spearheaded by State Representative John Kuempel and supported by Senator Donna Campbell and Representative Carrie Isaac, was broadly supported, both locally and regionally, to include formal resolutions of support by both New Braunfels and Seguin. HB 4997 creates the opportunity for TSTC to build a full campus.
“I applaud the leadership shown by our elected delegation on this important matter. Chairman Kuempel led the way by authoring the bill and through his role as Chairman of the House Higher Education Committee,” said Jonathan Packer, President and CEO of the New Braunfels Chamber. “Senator Campbell took the lead in the Senate, ensuring that we are able to provide the technical trade training that our residents need.”
“The expansion of TSTC to our region through the passage of HB 4997 is a huge win for our residents and businesses,” said Josh Schneuker executive director of economic development for the City of Seguin. “Texas State Technical College will immediately become a vital economic development asset in our region and help fuel economic prosperity by equipping individuals with the specialized skills and knowledge demanded by evolving industries.”
Local officials have already worked with TSTC to bring the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, or FAME program, to the area. The Texas FAME Lone Star chapter is a two-year program where students receive both classroom education and company-based training from a sponsoring employer. The program is expected to begin in August 2023 at the existing Central Texas Technology Center (CTTC) servicing the region.
“We are thrilled that the Texas Legislature advocated for a new campus of Texas State Technical College in the Comal/Guadalupe counties region,” said Mike Reeser, chancellor and CEO for TSTC. “This region is fast growing and contains an enviable concentration of industrial employers who employ skilled Texans in great-paying jobs. Texans who seek such positions will find TSTC as a fast and affordable pathway toward their occupational goal.”
For more information about TSTC, visit www.tstc.edu.