The Gilmer Mirror – TSTC graduate shows mettle in pursuing plumbing career

The TSTC graduate demonstrates his ability to pursue a career in plumbing

April 07, 2021 by Daniel Perry

(WACO, Texas) – Jude Gonzales learned that the positive people he surrounds himself with both personally and professionally can be motivating to create a career and a life to be proud of.

Jude Gonzales knows that there is always more to learn – and he’s not afraid to try.

“You will never really master plumbing,” he said. “It’s extremely complex when you immerse yourself in plumbing technology. It is an everyday task to accumulate wisdom and knowledge and to remain humble at all times. “

Gonzales graduated from the Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus in 2019 with a certificate in plumbing and pipe installation technology. While at TSTC, he attended the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Upon graduation, Gonzales and his father made plans to move to Idaho. But when they ate at a diner on the way there, they decided to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico because a relative lives in the state.

Gonzales said he had a hard time finding a job.

“I had an amazing certificate, a résumé, people who knew their stuff and thought a lot of me, but no one hired me,” he said.

Gonzales tried a new tactic that included an Albuquerque mall, a business suit, a sign saying he was ready to work, and a stack of resumes. He eventually met someone who gave him a business card for a plumbing company in Albuquerque.

“The next day I did an interview and was hired,” said Gonzalez. “I was making $ 13.50 an hour.”

He worked for this company for two years and accumulated hundreds of apprenticeship hours to take the New Mexico test and become a journeyman plumber. It received certification in 2020 according to license information from the state of New Mexico.

“There are long hours, you have to exercise all the time and you are green,” said Gonzales. “Once you have overcome these challenges, it is extremely beneficial. It is its own reward for doing what very few people want or want. “

It was Gonzales’ battle with COVID-19 in Albuquerque that made it clear to him that he wanted to be closer to his family in the Waco area. After he fully recovered, he moved back to Texas. He currently works at Central Texas Plumbing Solutions in Waco, preparing for the test to become a journeyman plumber in Texas.

Gonzales grew up in Robison. After graduating from Robinson High School, he joined the US Navy and worked in the culinary arts before receiving an honorable discharge. He later enrolled at TSTC and chose Plumbing and Pipefitting Technology because he was curious about the work.

“Jude is very punctual, respectful, and focused on whatever he wants to do,” said Jimmy Bibb, an instructor in the TSTC plumbing and plumbing technology program. “He entered this program to get the most out of what he could. He was a star in the classroom and in the lab. Jude dug deeper and deeper and asked the difficult questions. “

Registration for the summer and autumn semester at TSTC will continue. Visit for more information.

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