After working more than 35 years in the industrial sector, Troy Wratislaw is ready to share his experiences with Victoria College students enrolling in the new Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Program. This program begins in the fall at VC’s Industrial Training Center, part of the new Emerging Technology Complex.
Wratislaw was hired April 1 as the new Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Program Instructor.
“This looked like a fascinating opportunity that sparked my interest,” he said of his new job at VC. “It has all the possibilities I thought it would.”
He previously worked at Strobel Starostka Construction in Refugio, a sand transfer plant for fracking. Prior to that, he worked for Flowserve in Houston as a field service technician. Also in his career, Wratislaw was a machinist for Alcoa for nearly 16 years, working daily with pumps.
“I worked at Formosa for five years as an industrial maintenance mechanic, also known as a millwright,” he said. “Before that, I worked more than 13 years at Dow Chemical-Freeport as a machinist millwright and went through their apprenticeship program.”
He learned his craft at Texas State Technical College in Waco, where he studied Machinist Shop Operations.
As a full-time worker, Wratislaw gained valuable teaching experience when asked to give on-the-job training for new hires and apprentices.
“At just about all the places I’ve worked, I’ve been asked to help train,” Wratislaw said. “At Alcoa, we had people in the industry who had worked in different plants but had never seen equipment particular to Alcoa.”
He credits former supervisors and coworkers who trained and helped him over the years.
“Those are the guys who made it possible for me to succeed in my career,” he said. “I want to pass that knowledge along to future generations.”
To those considering the Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Program, Wratislaw said it is a wide open field.
“At any level you come in, it is unlimited,” he said. “It all depends on how far you want to go.”
Wratislaw lives in Port Lavaca with his wife, Sherry, who is a retired respiratory therapist. In his spare time, he enjoys getting out in his kayak for some saltwater fishing.
- Eric Jensen