Appetite for learning inspires maintenance supervisor to earn degree

Sánchez likes learning, and it’s this drive for growth that led him to pursue the Manufacturing Technology Program at Wharton County Junior College. Tenaris

May 11 was a special day for Cristian Sánchez, maintenance supervisor at Tenaris's mill in Bay City, Texas, as he graduated from the Manufacturing Technology Program at Wharton County Junior College in Matagorda County.

Two years ago, Sánchez set out to pursue his degree in instrumentation and process controls to complement his role at the mill, where he oversees five furnaces across three production lines at the company’s seamless pipe plant.

“It was definitely a big challenge balancing a full load at work, family, and studies,” shared Sánchez, who recalled many sleepless nights.

Sánchez likes learning, and it’s this drive for growth that led him to pursue the Manufacturing Technology Program at Wharton County Junior College (WCJC), a technical program launched in 2015 with support from Tenaris for equipment and collaboration on the curriculum.

This partnership has continued since with student scholarships, grants for the purchase and maintenance of equipment, and training by professors for Tenaris employees.

Sánchez during a mill tour at Tenaris's production center in Bay City, Texas. Tenaris

Upon learning of the opportunity for a scholarship, Sanchez, who had already started his associate degree coursework, applied. “It was a huge financial help and a major reason why I finished,” he said.

Sanchez spent a short time in Pasadena, Texas, before moving to Birmingham, Alabama, his home until 2018 when he returned to Texas and joined Tenaris. At the time, Sanchez was a fifth-year student studying music education in Alabama. It was a key year that would have required a great deal of time observing and student teaching. With a child on the way, Sanchez said he needed to work. His brother, Angel Sanchez, who had been working at Tenaris’s Bay City mill since 2017, encouraged him to apply.

Through dedication and hard work, Sanchez quickly moved up from technician to supervisor, a role he has held since 2021, managing a team of seven people. He credits the program for equipping him with the knowledge to better troubleshoot and lead. “It helped me better understand the definition of things and the theory behind how things work,” he said. “I’m the supervisor, so I have to be able to guide my teammates.”

Sánchez and his colleagues at the Tenaris mill located in the Matagorda County, Texas. Tenaris

Sánchez is thankful for the support and flexibility he received from the mill, his supervisor, and WCJC. “I hope to continue this lifelong career with my Tenaris family and continue to accomplish more goals,” he wrote to Tenaris management. Sanchez plans to head back to school to obtain an associate degree in electrical technology.

He also thanks his mother for her support over the years. “She always wanted to see me walk,” said Sánchez, which she did, one day before Mother’s Day. “That’s a major reason why I wanted to go back to school. It was a personal goal but also for her. I gave her that gift.” Education is the core of Tenaris’s community investment. Since 2015, the company has awarded 35 scholarships which covers tuition for the two-year associate’s coursework. Learn more about Tenaris’s educational initiatives.

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Our brand name is derived from the word tenacity, representing our determination to serve our customers wherever they are and pursue and achieve the goals that we set ourselves. It is about striving for excellence in everything we do. The colors in our multi-bar represent the diversity of the people that make up Tenaris around the world.


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