Skip to main content

New Houston Region Mentoring Program Aims to Pair Professionals with Area College Students

Published Jan 05, 2023 by A.J. Mistretta

UH Students

HOUSTON (January 5, 2023) – The Greater Houston Partnership is collaborating with a national mentorship organization to launch a first-of-its-kind regional mentorship initiative. Ahead of the launch this month, 10 companies have committed to providing professional mentors for the program, while more than a half-dozen universities will offer the mentorship opportunity to their students. 

The initiative, dubbed PartnerUp Houston, is designed to proactively address the equity and skills gaps in the region, increase the workforce readiness of Houston’s college graduates, and strengthen the talent pipeline of the local economy. 

“Since 2017, the Partnership has facilitated collaboration between higher education leaders and the business community to strengthen the region’s talent pipeline and ensure more opportunity for Houstonians,” said Partnership Chair Thad Hill, who serves as President and CEO of Calpine. “We believe a robust, regional mentorship program like PartnerUp will help accelerate career outcomes for students and help Houston area employers identify and cultivate great talent.”  

Companies including Calpine, Boston Consulting Group, and HP have signed on to provide professional mentors to the PartnerUp Houston program. Area universities offering the mentorship opportunity to their students include Houston Christian University, Prairie View A&M University, Rice University, Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, University of Houston Downtown, and University of St. Thomas. Area companies interested in joining PartnerUp to provide professional mentors, as well as individuals interested in becoming a career mentor, are encouraged to visit this page to learn more. 

PartnerUp Houston is a collaborative venture between the Greater Houston Partnership and Mentor Collective, the preferred partner for large-scale peer and alumni mentorship solutions and Lumina Foundation Impact Investment. Since 2016, Mentor Collective has facilitated more than 250,000 successful mentorship matches and has had a proven impact on student retention, career-decision self-efficacy, and sense of belonging.

“The United States increasingly lags behind the developed world in economic mobility. Proactively bridging these equity and skills gaps requires local employers and post-secondary institutions to collaborate on initiatives that allow students to acquire professional experiences and skills.” said Jackson Boyar, Co-Founder and CEO of Mentor Collective. “Institutions enrolling and graduating a diverse class with strong employment outcomes are those implementing holistic student support, including career mentorship. Mentor Collective is proud to play a role in the PartnerUp Houston initiative and offer the technology needed to scale high-impact practices that drive student and economic success.”

Companies and individuals can continue to sign on for mentorship through January 20, for the spring semester. 


Greater Houston Partnership
The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the economic development organization for the region, the Partnership champions growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing 950+ member organizations and approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place companies come together to make an impact. Learn more at

Mentor Collective
Mentor Collective—the leading provider of high-impact, large-scale mentorship solutions in higher education—is a collective of institutions and thought leaders dedicated to closing the equity gap through mentorship. Founded in 2014, Mentor Collective has delivered 800+ unique mentorship programs, established 180+ institutional partnerships, and formed over 250,000 mentoring relationships through expert-led services, and technology. As an impact-first investment of the Lumina Foundation, Mentor Collective partners with forward-thinking institutions that are committed to equity, inclusion, and relationship-centered education. Download the EdTech For Equity white paper to learn more

A.J. Mistretta  

Samantha Emelock
Content Marketing Manager

Related News

Workforce Development

The Role of Educational Institutions in Houston’s Aerospace Renaissance

Once known as Space City, Houston’s aerospace industry is experiencing a renaissance fueled by ambitious projects and strategic educational investments. As the region continues to attract aerospace companies and projects, local institutions are establishing innovative programs to meet the demand for skilled workers.   According to a Partnership analysis, Houston boasts over 500 space, aviation and aerospace-related firms and institutions and more than 23,000 aerospace and aviation-related professionals.  The University of Houston (UH) was recently selected by NASA to establish an aerospace engineering research center. The facility, dubbed NASA MIRO Inflatable Deployable Environments and Adaptive Space Systems (IDEAS2) Center, will provide students with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge aerospace research and hands-on learning. This initiative will pave pathways to careers in the industry while bolstering NASA’s human space exploration efforts on the Moon and Mars.  UH also offers a robust Aerospace Engineering program, focusing on areas such as aerodynamics and heat transfer, structural mechanics and materials and controls and dynamics. Additionally, the University of Houston – Clear Lake, Rice University, Lone Star College, and Houston Community College provide various certifications and degree programs essential for the aerospace industry. These include specialties in welding technology, computer and information sciences, mechanical engineering, materials science and more.  Texas A&M University recently signed a lease at Exploration Park, a 240-acre development at the Johnson Space Center, to establish its $200 million Space Institute. Funded by the Texas Space Commission, which was created by the state legislature last year to bolster Texas’ leadership in aerospace activity, the institute will train and equip students for careers in aerospace. Additionally, it will support mission training, aeronautics research, advanced robotics, and work on lunar and Martian exploration.  Meanwhile, San Jacinto College (SJC) is also playing a pivotal role in building Houston's aerospace workforce through its EDGE Center. Located at the Houston Spaceport, this 154-acre facility is dedicated to aerospace training and program development, offering state-of-the-art resources and cutting-edge technology. With a recent $332,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission, the EDGE Center has launched an aerospace technician training program aimed at certifying unemployed or displaced workers and facilitating their placement in the region’s workforce.    “Funding like this grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to further our training offerings reaches far beyond our students to the future of the aerospace industry,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor. “A skilled workforce is critical to the success of the Houston Spaceport and the aerospace industries that support it, and we understand our role in providing the next generation of aerospace technicians.”  Learn more about Houston’s thriving aerospace industry. 
Read More

Companies Investing in Houston's Energy Workforce

As Houston continues to lead the energy transition, major corporations are making significant investments to ensure the region's workforce is equipped with the skills of tomorrow. Key industry players ExxonMobil and Bechtel have recently announced initiatives, demonstrating their commitment to preparing and empowering the next generation of energy professionals. ExxonMobil's Commitment to STEM Education The ExxonMobil Foundation recently donated $17 million to Khan Academy for the Open Doors Project. The initiative will allow Khan Academy to offer free Texas standards-aligned math and science courses for 3rd – 12th graders and teacher guides to facilitate the new courses.  The collaboration with Khan Academy will enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning opportunities, ensuring students have the foundational knowledge and skills required to pursue careers in the energy industry and beyond.  Bechtel's Construction Career Pathways Bechtel, a global leader in engineering, construction, and project management, is also making significant strides in workforce development. The company recently announced it offered construction careers to 15 graduating seniors from the pipefitter and welding Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Nederland High School and Port Arthur Memorial High School. The students received hands-on experience and training through the program, allowing them to successfully move into careers at the Port Arthur Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Phase 1 project site.  “We are excited to offer jobs to these students who have gained the experience needed to complete their curriculum and start their path to becoming skilled craft professionals,” said Kane McIntosh, Port Arthur LNG Project Manager at Bechtel. “Sempra Infrastructure and Bechtel are committed to supporting Port Arthur and Southeast Texas, which includes training the next generation of workers who will deliver large-scale projects like Port Arthur LNG Phase 1.” Shaping the Future of Energy The investments by ExxonMobil and Bechtel are crucial for ensuring Houston remains at the forefront of the global energy industry. By focusing on education and career development, these companies are fostering innovation and sustainable growth in the energy sector while addressing the current and future workforce needs. Learn more about the region's energy industry and workforce development programs.  
Read More

Related Events

Education and Workforce Event

Workforce Development Forum

Greater Houston and its employers need the finest skilled workforce in the world to be a great global city in the 21st century. Training programs and workforce development opportunities strengthen the…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners