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Gary Voelkel, a seasoned professional in the field of diesel technology, has been with Texas State Technical College since 2003 as the Diesel Equipment Technology – Heavy Truck Specialization instructor. However, this is not Voelkel’s first time at the college.


Voelkel graduated from Texas State Technical Institute (TSTI) in Waco in 1978 with a certificate in heavy truck mechanics. TSTI was renamed TSTC in 1991 and in 2006, Voelkel graduated from TSTC in Waco with an associate degree in Heavy Truck Specialization.


Prior to coming to TSTC, Voelkel worked for Halliburton in the marine division traveling around the world and maintaining vessels out at sea, and Coca-Cola  as a lead mechanic, before opening his own shop in El Campo working on heavy equipment such as tractors and trucks for a decade.


“At or around 10 years, one of my suppliers told me TSTC was needing help,” said Voelkel. “It was perfect timing for me to make a change. So I took the opportunity. I just waited for my employees to find jobs elsewhere before closing.”


Voelkel said he does not regret the decision he made. He was excited to share the extent of his knowledge with others to help build successful careers. Voelkel describes his first year of teaching as an “experience of a lifetime.”


“It’s impossible to learn everything there is to know about diesel mechanics, but my job is to teach the basic concepts and functions and give them the hands-on training they need,” said Voelkel. “I teach them everything the truck industry needs and the skills the truck industry is looking for, so when they leave TSTC they get hired.”


Students in Voelkel’s class have the opportunity of graduating and landing positions with big companies in the industry such as Walmart, Holt Caterpillar, Peterbilt and Kenworth.


“Mechanics is not a trend that will not die any time soon. We’ll always need clothes, food and other supplies transported,” said Voelkel. “The trucking industry is here to stay.”


Voelkel said his overall goal in the classroom is to teach students all of the latest technologies, since trends are always changing.


“With our new campus opening this fall, I hope to see my program grow,” said Voelkel. “I want to remind students to make sure when choosing a major they choose something they love. This isn’t just a job, it’s a career and future.”


Diesel Equipment Technology is also offered at the Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses.


For more information on Diesel Equipment Technology with a specialization in heavy trucking at TSTC in Fort Bend County call Voelkel at 281-239-1588.


Registration for summer and fall 2016 begins April 4. Apply or register anytime online at

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