Father, daughter pursue careers in SPC’s IMET Program
LEVELLAND – Two South Plains College students are learning that an empty nest can lead to the opportunity to spread their own wings. This fall, Arieana Torres and her father Lance Willard discovered they shared the same dream and enrolled in the Industrial Manufacturing and Emerging Technology Program.
Lance, 36, currently works as an EVAP Process Operator for the Continental Dairy Facility in Littlefield, a state-of-the-art milk processing plant that opened in March 2019. He shared his goal with Arieana, and she thought it would be a good experience.
“I graduated in May from Littlefield, and my dad told me that he had talked to with Bill Tackett, instructor in IMET about the program,” she said. “It sounded interesting, and he asked me if I wanted to give it a try so I said ‘why not?’”
Since starting the program this fall, Arieana said their partnership has been very beneficial. Lance calls to remind his daughter about reading the chapters, doing the homework and he provides YouTube videos to further enhance their classroom experiences. She handles all of the computer and technology related responsibilities.
SPC’s IMET Program has a variety of career tracks including electronics, machining and petroleum alternative energy. Arieana said the courses piqued her interest because she enjoys tinkering and taking things apart to fix them again.
The duo recently had the opportunity to interview with a representative from Chevron. Arieana is interested in the internship program that Chevron offers as part of its recruitment efforts. Lance is interested in the opportunity to earn a better salary when he graduates.
As an older student, Lance said he takes his education seriously. The path toward higher education will not only benefit him in the future, it will help him to provide a better lifestyle for his family which includes two younger daughters, Samantha and Nathlia, and his wife Crystal.
“My wife has shown me that anything is possible with hard work and put God first,” he said. “Last year, she graduated from SPC’s Vocational Nursing Program. So I know this is something I can do, too.”
In five years after graduation, Arieana said she wants to plan for her future which includes a husband, a house and children. She said she’s not opposed to moving out of the area to pursue her career. As for Lance, he plans to mentor young people within Littlefield community.
“I like working with young people and that will never change,” Lance said. “I will continue to encourage them to come to college no matter what their age. Anything is possible through God.”
Their family relationship is even stronger and they’ve gotten even closer since coming to SPC. The door to opportunity is allowing them to spread their wings as they continue on their journey.