June 2023

High School Students Visit METRO to Learn About Careers of the Future

Students pose for a group photo in front of the ROC mural.

Students participating in San Jacinto College’s National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) program received a warm welcome from METRO’s Rail Operations Facility (ROC) employees earlier this month. The visit was part of a program introducing young people to potential careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Their visit to METRO allowed them to learn more about jobs in the transit industry.

METRO Public Engagement Specialist Jeanette de Los Santos helped lead the outreach effort. She said STEM-related jobs already play a significant role in transit and will continue to shape the future of sustainable transportation.

“Technology is advancing rapidly, with increasing demand for skilled professionals in STEM fields, including those in the public transportation industry,” said de Los Santos during an introduction. “Engineers design infrastructure like bridges and stations. Transit planners determine routes and schedules, analyzing data to identify areas where service can be improved. STEM skills are also in demand for mechanics who work on the vehicles.”

METRO Rail Maintenance Training Supervisor Antonio Dominguez gave students a tour of the ROC’s shop, where the rail cars are brought in for repairs and service. He also gave students the opportunity to explore the operator’s area of a rail car and gave a tutorial on light rail design and propulsion.

Students tour the ROC shop where LRVs are maintained and repaired.
METRO Rail Maintenance Training Supervisor Antonio Dominguez gave students a tour of the ROC’s shop, where the rail cars are brought in for repairs and service.


METRO Rail Control Sr. Instructor Thomas Denny gave a behind-the-scenes view of METRO’s Rail Control Center. Students learned how the facility explained how METRO monitors the rail cars running through the Houston area and provides control functions for the entire METRO light rail system.

Denny, who previously worked as a state corrections officer before joining the Authority, also shared his personal experience and offered words of advice.

“Experience and dedication will get you far. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you apply yourself, you can do anything.” said Denny. “I worked my way from rail operator to where I am today. This career has allowed me to provide well for my family, and I also get to work with a great group of people.”

Students were also given the opportunity to explore and ride in METRO’s first electric bus! METRO Technical Services Manager Andrei Dragomir gave a first-hand look at the emissions-free vehicle, demonstrating the technology behind it. Students were fascinated to learn about the bus’s advanced sensors, software, and charging infrastructure.

Channelview High School senior David Colunga said his favorite part of the tour was visiting the control room.

“I never really had any interest in working at METRO until I came here and saw all the different facilities, and I got to talk to people who worked here,” said Colunga.

Students take a look under the hood of METRO's first electric bus.
Under the Hood: Technical Services Manager Andrei Dragomir gave students a first-hand look at components that help power METRO’s electric bus.

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