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Photo of: Joseph Garcia,, Chris Martinez and Miguel Reyes. Photo credit: Texas State Technical College

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners Celebrates TSTC Students’ Sweep in Plumbing Category at SkillsUSA Championships in Houston

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) is excited to announce the remarkable success of several Texas State Technical College (TSTC) students at the recent SkillsUSA Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference held in Houston, Texas. These talented TSTC students, who will graduate with immediate eligibility to take the Texas Tradesman-Plumber-Limited examination, dominated the plumbing category by securing the top three positions.

TSBPE Board Chairman Frank S. Denton expressed his delight at the victory, stating, “On behalf of the entire TSBPE, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to these exceptional students. We are incredibly proud of our collaboration with TSTC, which has allowed us to create a clear path for students like these to obtain high-paying jobs upon graduation and embark on long, successful careers as licensed plumbers in the State of Texas.”

The SkillsUSA plumbing competition tested the students’ expertise as they tackled complex tasks such as roughing in hot and cold-water, sanitary drainage, waste and vent lines using various materials for a water closet, a lavatory, a washer box, and a floor drain. Competitors were judged by professional plumbers and pipefitters based on accuracy, workmanship, proper selection and use of tools and supplies, and adherence to TSBPE-regulated rules and safety procedures.

The first-place winner and new state champion, Chris Martinez, will advance to the national championships in Atlanta, Georgia, where he will represent the high standard of workmanship and skill that has become a hallmark of the plumbing industry in Texas. TSTC Plumbing and Pipefitting students Joseph Garcia and Miguel Reyes were hot on Martinez’s tail, winning silver and bronze respectively. TSTC’s Waco campus took home a total of 11 medals at the SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference, including four other state champion gold medals.

From left: Joseph Garcia, Chris Martinez and Miguel Reyes. Photo credit: Texas State Technical College

“We are immensely proud of the dedication and hard work our students have shown and are excited about the bright future they have in their respective industries,” said Mike Reeser, Chancellor of Texas State Technical College. “The fact that these champions will have a clear path to high-paying jobs as licensed plumbers when they complete their education is a testament to the strength of our partnership with the TSBPE as we work together to deliver a new generation of highly skilled professionals into the plumbing industry.”

The TSBPE and TSTC’s synergistic alliance, solidified in 2022 with the opening of the TSBPE’s second permanent Exam Center—created in partnership with TSTC and located on TSTC’s campus in Waco, Texas—has been instrumental in nurturing the next generation of plumbers soon-to-enter Texas’ thriving plumbing industry. Through programs like the TSBPE’s high school and college curriculum initiative, TSTC students are given the opportunity to learn and develop the essential skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the plumbing profession, and the tools to help them navigate the TSBPE-regulated steps toward plumbing licensure once they graduate. The two state agencies are firmly committed to the ongoing success and growth of the plumbing industry in Texas.

About the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) is responsible for licensing and regulating the plumbing industry in Texas. With a focus on protecting the public health and safety, TSBPE ensures that all plumbers meet the necessary requirements and adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and expertise. For more information, visit: tsbpe.texas.gov

About Texas State Technical College
Texas State Technical College (TSTC) is a public community college dedicated to providing students with the necessary skills and education to excel in their chosen career fields. With a strong focus on hands-on training, TSTC offers a wide range of programs in various industries, including plumbing, to prepare students for the workforce and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to succeed. See tstc.texas.gov for more information.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is America’s proud champion of the skilled trades. Representing nearly 380,000 career and technical education students and teachers, SkillsUSA chapters thrive in middle schools, high schools and college/postsecondary institutions nationwide. SkillsUSA’s mission empowers students to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members. A vital solution to the skills gap, where more in-demand skilled trades positions are available than qualified professionals to fill them, SkillsUSA has served over 14 million difference-making members since 1965. For more, visit skillsusa.org.

TSBPE in partnership with the TWC

TSBPE Partners with the TWC to Get High School Initiative off the Ground

In what can be considered the third phase of the TSBPE’s effort to bring plumbing curriculum to the next generation of Texas plumbers, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) has worked in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to make grant funding available to qualified Texas schools interested in teaching an approved plumbing course outline. 

Over the past two years, the TSBPE, acting on the authority granted by the Texas State Legislature, has paved the way for students who successfully complete a high school/trade school program based on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) created, TSBPE-approved curriculum, to immediately test to become licensed Tradesman plumbers. Now, with the financial support of the TWC’s Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program, the TSBPE has helped address the most prominent hurdle schools face when considering introducing a plumbing program: funding.

Current Master and Journeyman plumbers will soon receive a letter addressed to high school principals and superintendents and signed by TSBPE Chair Frank S. Denton and TWC Chair Bryan Daniel that details this new opportunity. It is both agencies’ hope that current licensees will help distribute the letter to the administrators of their local high schools and trade schools to encourage more young people to consider plumbing as a career. Per a provision in HB 636, the TSBPE may offer CE credit (based on number of hours of instruction provided) to licensed plumbers who participate in the instruction of students in a high school or trade school plumbing program.

The letter signed by TSBPE Chair Frank Denton and TWC Chair Bryan Daniel can be downloaded here.