VC gave St. Joseph graduate foundation for career

Cavazos Attending Victoria College for two years helped Mike Cavazos gain direction for his career path.

Mike Cavazos didn’t know what he wanted to do for a career when he graduated from Victoria’s St. Joseph High School in 1976.

It wasn’t until after Cavazos attended Victoria College for two years that he felt confident to enter the workforce.

“Victoria College reminded me a lot of my high school, because when I came here I learned that you could develop a good bond with the teachers,” Cavazos said. “They really challenged me to want to accomplish something. I saw dedication and willingness to help students. They wanted me to be successful, so they challenged me to do a good job. That helped me build the foundation I needed to get where I am today.”

Cavazos is the director of environmental health and safety for the Victoria office of klean corp international, which designs, develops, tests, manufactures, markets and implements core and customized cleaning products and technology for power, oil and gas, and petrochemical industries around the world. He previously worked 37 years at INVISTA in several leadership roles, including his last position as technical training manager.

“Victoria College delivers to students in this area a chance to build a career, whether it’s acquiring a two-year degree, using VC as a launching pad to a four-year university, or getting a technical degree or nursing degree,” Cavazos said. “I’ve seen a drive and initiative in students who attended Victoria College. They want to be successful. They really want to come to work and be a part of a team.”

Cavazos, 60, is now giving back by serving on Victoria College’s Impact Team, which assists with the implementation of Victoria College’s Master Plan.

“Victoria College built a foundation for me to strive for success,” said Cavazos. “It is very fulfilling for me to help others who need a chance to become successful in the workforce.”

Having worked at INVISTA much of his career, Cavazos has long recognized the value of Victoria College’s Process Technology Program.

“Students who have gone through the Process Technology Program get a lot of hands-on training,” Cavazos said. “They are being taught by instructors who have worked in the industry. The instructors know the industry very well, and they know what kind of employees are needed.”

Cavazos said he sees many high school students finding their career paths at community colleges.

“I would tell a student looking to attend college to see community colleges as an opportunity to help them grow and figure out what they want to do for a career,” Cavazos said. “They can build their interpersonal skills, become more confident with their communication skills, and develop vital critical-thinking skills. They will also be close to home and have that close family base to help them. Victoria College is just the right fit for so many reasons.”

by Coy Slavik, Communications Specialist, Victoria College