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  • Share ideas and best practices among fellow HR professionals, ERG leaders and recruiters

  • Access to continuing education sessions

  • Topics based on talent, workplace trends, HR tools and corporate culture

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Actively Involved

The Partnership hosted the inaugural HoustonNEXT: An ERG Summit in the fall of 2018, gathering hundreds of HR professionals and ERG leaders to discuss issues in talent attraction and diversity in the workplace. Out of that event, the Partnership launched the Talent Resources Group in 2019 to help connect HR and talent professionals in the region.

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Workforce Development

Texas Mutual Helps UpSkill Houston, Partners Provide Vital Support to Workers, Job Seekers

The need to help individuals be prepared for good jobs in a changing and dynamic regional economy is more urgent than ever. Today's workers must also be resilient and adaptable to the shocks that come with working in a competitive, global economy.  Last year, unemployment in the greater Houston region topped 360,000 people at its peak, driving up the demand for effective career coaching and guidance by nonprofit organizations serving under- and unemployed individuals. Though the labor market has improved, an estimated gap of 250,000 jobs remains and full recovery may be up to three years away. In addition, students graduating high school and college during the recovery will encounter a soft labor market, just as graduates did in the wake of the Great Recession. Effective career counseling and coaching will assist students in identifying the education and workforce programs that are pathways to good jobs in the Houston region.  UpSkill Houston has secured grant funding from Texas Mutual Insurance Company to assist in creating a community of practice to strengthen the capacity and skills of these coaches whose work is critical to helping individuals succeed in the workforce. The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative will use this financial support to equip career coaches, counselors and educators with information and tools to help displaced workers, job seekers and the region’s students navigate good career pathways and transitions. Texas Mutual is supporting the Houston region with a total of $385,000 in grants to UpSkill Houston, United Way of Greater Houston through its THRIVE program and BakerRipley Community Developers to support programs and initiatives that help individuals develop career skills and address other workforce issues. UpSkill Houston works with United Way THRIVE partners and BakerRipley to provide financial literacy education, workforce training and critical supports to the region’s asset limited income constrained employed (ALICE) population and other individuals and families in need. "Supporting and strengthening Houston's workforce, as Texas Mutual has done, is vital to lifting up the entire city as it continues to grapple with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic," said Peter Beard, Partnership senior vice president of regional workforce development and leader of UpSkill Houston. "This grant to UpSkill Houston will help individuals looking for work have access to the tools and coaching needed to navigate and attain job stability." Texas Mutual, a leading provider of workers’ compensation in the state, has been an UpSkill Houston partner since 2018 and has demonstrated its commitment to workforce development efforts by funding relevant organizations. These grants are among the nearly $2.9 million Texas Mutual has distributed to community organizations across the state. "We have a deep commitment to building a stronger, safer Texas, and through our partnerships with organizations across the state, we’re able to deliver on that commitment," said Jeremiah Bentley, vice president of marketing and community affairs at Texas Mutual. “These grants help us maintain our mission while, more importantly, assisting people who need it the most. Helping individuals develop career skills and addressing other workforce issues—from child care to food access—is something that Texas Mutual knows is an important part of being good corporate citizens." Read full press release here.   UpSkill Houston is the Partnership’s nationally recognized, employer-led initiative that mobilizes the collective action of employers, educators and community-based leaders to strengthen the talent pipeline the region’s employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians develop relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility. Learn more and get involved.
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Houston Employers Partner with Education to Invest in Future Talent

This winter, Brazosport ISD announced a new major giving campaign to support career and technical education (CTE) programs and named Dow Chemical as its first major campaign backer. The company has pledged $2.5 million toward the district’s $5 million goal, according to the district. Dow has been a longtime supporter of the district’s Systems Go Rocketry Program and FIRST Robotics teams, providing both monetary grants and Dow mentors to work with students. These will be housed in the new CTE Center, according to the company. It has also supported district CTE programs through its “Project Lead The Way” and “Dow Gives Education Grants” programs to help the district offer new engineering and cybersecurity pathways, and for various STEM projects, respectively. Dow’s commitments are recent examples of major Houston-area employers investing resources into K-12 career and technical education programs to improve facilities and opportunities for the region’s students. These investments illustrate the commitment of employers in strengthening the pipeline of local talent and building viable pathways from the classroom to good careers, especially for craft trades with high-demand projections over the next several years. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) lists electricians, welders and cutters, HVAC mechanics and installers, and pipefitters among its top 10 targeted occupations statewide; engineers of various types, software developers and network and computer systems administrators join the list in the Gulf Coast region. Education programs that expose students to these and related trades and allow students to get a literal feel for the work and industry can help students make informed career decisions. In 2019, MAREK launched its MAREK Construction Academy program in partnership with Houston ISD and Houston Community College (HCC) allowing high school juniors and seniors to earn dual high school and college credit and gain valuable, on-the-job training through paid summer internships. Students gain experience installing drywall and framing along with blueprint technology and other skills. Students who complete the program graduate high school with National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) industry credentials, an OSHA certification and an opportunity to work with MAREK, along with a high school diploma and a Certificate Level 1 in Construction Management Technology from HCC. The program was modeled on a similar electrician “pre-apprenticeship” program between TRIO Electric, HCC and Spring Branch ISD that has since expanded to Alief ISD in the Houston region along with school districts in Austin and Fort Worth. S&B Engineers and Constructors is taking a different approach to engage students in career exploration and education. During the 2019-20 school year, volunteers from S&B spearheaded a committee of volunteers from major employers including Turner Industries, Dow and Worley, among others, to hold an industrial craft competition in partnership with seven area school districts as part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This competition, piloted last year but now an established part of the Rodeo, challenges student teams to construct industrial skids. Students learn through the months-long exercise how to use technical skills common to industrial construction, including how to follow plans, submit requests for information (RFIs) and meet industrial safety expectations. The project helps teachers keep up with industry practices and standards, as well. 3DE by Junior Achievement creates a partnership between education and business and fundamentally changes the high school instructional model. The 3DE model, launched within Houston ISD this school year, builds student-centric education around a series of real-world questions presented by sponsor companies, such as Accenture, Deloitte and Quanta Services. Sponsors serve as mentors as students work through the case-study projects, and students complete internships or consultancies with employer sponsors during their senior year. The model will be introduced into a second district school next school year. (Related: Re-Imagining Education and Career-Connected Learning — How Junior Achievement is Driving Opportunity for All) Dow, MAREK and S&B Engineers and Constructors are employer-champions among the more than 130 employer partners in the Partnership’s nationally-recognized, employer-led UpSkill Houston initiative, which mobilizes the collective action of employers, educators and community-based leaders to strengthen the talent pipeline the region’s employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians develop relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility.   Get involved with the UpSkill Houston initiative.  
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Related Events


Women's Business Alliance: Virtual Coffee Conversations & Networking

The Women’s Business Alliance will be hosting a Members-Only Virtual Coffee Conversations and Networking event on Tuesday, April 20th.  Join us online to meet this year’s new WBA members! This is an…

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“We all go to lots of meetings where we talk about what needs to be fixed but rarely do individuals own the work to make something happen. It’s very impressive how UpSkill Houston has been able to bring everyone together to accomplish common goals.”

Linda Aldred
Texas Children’s Hospital

“The minute I heard there was an opportunity to leverage what the Greater Houston Partnership was doing to make our industry better and our company better, joining UpSkill Houston was a no-brainer.”

Daniel M. Gilbane
Gilbane Building Co.

“I am sitting in Alief Independent School District watching my students' lives change because of efforts like this.”

HD Chambers
Alief Independent School District

"Businesses who want to get their name out and sales professionals who want to increase their sphere of influence won't find a better organization to connect than GHP."

Lisa Bogany
Workforce Solutions

“UpSkill Houston helped us build relationships across sectors and made sure we were all talking about the same issues.”

Brenda Hellyer
San Jacinto Community College

"Houston has a huge amount of raw ingredients needed to launch a startup -- top tier universities, affordable cost of living, tremendous wealth, large corporations -- so the creation of a startup hub in Houston has just been about aligning all these elements under one roof that provides entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed."

Lawson Gow
Founder & CEO, The Cannon
This program and its benefits are exclusive to Partnership members. Learn more about becoming a company member today.

Ready to become a part of the Talent Resources Group program?

  • Share ideas and best practices among fellow HR professionals, ERG leaders and recruiters
  • Access to continuing education sessions
  • Topics based on talent, workplace trends, HR tools and corporate culture
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