Tom Hoffman, '80

Continued family legacy at Terra State

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Continued family legacy at Terra State

It’s a good building block with good, solid teachers and good labs to work out of.

Tom Hoffman was born and raised in Fremont and graduated from Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers. After attending Vanguard, it was a “natural step” for him to attend Terra State. Hoffman studied Industrial Electricity at Terra State.

Since Hoffman, with his father, bought Valley Electric when he was 18 years old, it was important for him to go to a school that was affordable and allowed him to work. “What attracted me to Terra was, first of all, the low cost. I live in Fremont, so it was convenient. I could work during the day and go to school in the evenings,” Hoffman said.

He is a proud Terra State alum. “Terra is in our blood,” he said. His father was one of the first students at Terra State, graduating with a double degree, his oldest sister graduated from Terra State, his kids have all attended KidsCollege and he met his wife at Terra who also attended Terra State.

“I would highly recommend Terra State to anybody interested in going to college, especially in the technical programs,” Hoffman said. “It’s a good building block with good, solid teachers and good labs to work out of."

  • Electricity program icon
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    Length of Study

    2 years, Full time

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    Less than $20,000

  • Employer icon
    BusinessValley Electric Co.
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    Job Title


  • Salary Potential
    Salary Potential

    $99,000 average*

Tom Hoffman video link

After taking classes at Terra State, he went through a 4-year apprenticeship program through IBEW Local 8 while working out in the field. “So, I would work during the day in the field, go to Terra at night, and then also would come back in nights and weekends and learn the business,” he said.

Throughout Hoffman’s 39 years at Valley Electric, he has done a variety of jobs. Now, as the owner, he works as an estimator and project manager. Hoffman’s involvement does not stop there. He is President and Founder of the Sandusky County Positive People. “This is my passion,” he said. After experiencing the impact of the Firelands Positive People organization had on the students in the Firelands area, he wanted to open an organization of his own in Sandusky County.

Sandusky County Positive People is a local 501(c)3 non- profit organization made up of local volunteers that want to have a positive impact on our community. Each year, they accept applications from area high school seniors that have overcome unbelievable and all too often horrible obstacles in life. “To date, we have awarded $110,100 to 56 students,” Hoffman said.

In addition to founding this organization, he is involved in the community in a number of ways.

Currently, he is a long- time member in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #8, the Toledo Electrical Contracting Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Fremont Rotary. He is currently a Vanguard Industrial Electricity Adviser and has been for 38 years. Also, he has been a member on the Terra College Foundation Board for 16 years and the Memorial Hospital Operating Board for 15 years.

In his free time, Hoffman enjoys spending time with his family, collecting old cars and trucks, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing and hunting.

*Possible salary information based on averages from