LEVELLAND – South Plains College announces Joe Dee Brooks as the Pacesetter Award honoree for this year’s 25th Annual Scholarship Gala. Brooks is a Levelland native who grew up thinking that the path to success began with a college education. He said that attending college would help a person get a better job working in the oil field, and he enrolled at South Plains College after graduating Levelland High School.
Because of early miscues and youthful exuberance, Brooks left SPC. However, he later returned to SPC at the age of 34. This time, he was able to achieve recognition for making the President’s List with a 4.0 grade point average.
Brooks recalled how his mother received a telephone call informing her of her now middle-aged son’s academic success. Brooks left SPC again to make room for the young people coming up.
“When I talk to everybody, I tell them I’m a lifer,” he said. “I’ve had opportunities to be other places. I’ve turned down jobs, and it all seemed to work out alright. Yeah, I love Levelland.”
Through hard work and life experiences, Brooks founded Allied Oilfield Machine and Pump in 1997. The company provides its customers with the latest technologies in the oil and gas industry and backs them with quality customer service and support. With a highly qualified staff who have decades of experience in the manufacturing industry, employees take pride in having the capability to design and fabricate a wide array of products to serve their customer base in West Texas, New Mexico, and across the United States.
“South Plains College has always been important to me,” he said. “It’s very important to our community, and it’s very important to the South Plains it serves.”
As an employer with more than 1,200 employees as well as different organizations that he supports, Brooks said there is a position in every company that someone could come out of South Plains College and fill.
“It’s very important to our workforce, and it’s very important economically; it’s a big five employer for Hockley County and this area,” he said. “So, it’s important to me to see that go on. And these organizations need our support as individuals, and that’s what we take pride in doing. That’s why I’ve always chosen to support South Plains College.”
Brooks said his company has truck drivers, diesel mechanics, welders, manufacturers, and painters. They build equipment and operate a machine shop.
“When you look at what is offered in this one corner of South Plains College, we can pull people out of every one of those technical education programs,” he said. “And that’s why I support them.”
Brooks’ support of the college is shown in a variety of ways. A former SPC Foundation Board member, Brooks’ most recent contribution has been to the Welding Building Expansion Project. The SPC Welding Technology program is a highly sought-after program, and the new Welding Building Expansion Project will expand the welding facility from 59 welding stations to 80. This means SPC will graduate 42 additional students each year, which is something the Texas Workforce Commission anticipates will be much needed in the local area.
“One of the things that I’ve learned about being involved at South Plains College, starting with the athletic program, is that there are different levels of support and so many kids come from this area,” Brooks said. “Some of them need a little bit of help, and some of them need a lot of help. And we have different levels to accomplish this. I think every donation is important. A young person or even a non-traditional student can come here for a lot less.
“A ‘lot less’ at South Plains College is kinda like a good deal,” he said. “But for it to be a good deal, people must support it. Organizations must support it. Companies need to support it. Individuals need to support it. A lot of people don’t understand that a $500 donation or a $200 donation will buy somebody’s books for the year.”
Brooks added that during his time on the SPC Foundation Board, he saw how appreciative the students were of the $1,000 and $500 scholarships they were awarded to attend South Plains College.
“South Plains College offers anything that people need, but as long as people support it, we’ll be able to continue to do that,” Brooks said.
Brooks will be honored as the 2023 Pacesetter Award recipient during the 25th Annual Scholarship Gala at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 (Friday). During each Scholarship Gala, the Pacesetter Award recognizes a select benefactor or group of benefactors who have provided exemplary support through their philanthropy, service or leadership that makes a difference in the lives of SPC students.
For information about the Scholarship Gala or other ways to support South Plains College and SPC students, contact Samantha Goldie at (806) 716-2020 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.