Published Mar 07, 2019 by Peter Beard
Ask students what they want to be when they grow up and it’s unlikely you’ll hear careers critical to key Houston industries and economy like clinic coordinator (health care), automotive technician (transportation), or process technician (petrochemical manufacturing). Yet, these occupations come with big paychecks and lots of possibilities for advancement.
Some innovative Partnership members are working to increase awareness of these – and other similarly rewarding – professions that require education and skills beyond high school but less than four years of college. The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative has collaborated with Gulf States Toyota, Houston Methodist hospital, global petrochemical firm INEOS, global engineering firm Jacobs, and national construction firm MAREK to create a series of “My Life As” career videos and tools to inspire students to pursue these careers.
The videos show employees with diverse backgrounds and career goals to highlight the many pathways to successful and rewarding careers. The series is part of UpSkill’s What Are You Up For? public awareness campaign and will soon feature additional stories from notable employers including the Dow Chemical Company, ExxonMobil, and Texas Children’s Hospital.
UpSkill partners with some of Houston’s largest and most diverse school districts and with community-based organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Project GRAD, and Junior Achievement to reach students and parents. These partners use the series to inspire students and assist their exploration of different pathways to success.
Greater Houston Partnership Senior Vice President of Regional Workforce Development Peter Beard shared with a national audience through a January post on the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation blog how UpSkill Houston developed the “My Life As” series. The post, “5 Lessons for Inspiring Students to Explore Career Options,” discusses the steps taken and methods used to conduct research, engage the business community, and partner with schools to reach the target audience via social media and online.
UpSkill Houston is a proud part of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management™ national learning network, which focuses on the strategic alignment between classroom and career, and Beard’s blog post serves as a guide for organizations and industries seeking to improve or develop talent pipelines in their own communities.
Last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce featured the Greater Houston Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative in a display on “Building the Competitive Workforce of Future.”
UpSkill Houston’s success and its national recognition don’t happen without vision, leadership and support from the Partnership’s members, business leaders, and the Houston community.
Houston is one of the biggest petrochemical hubs in the country, accounting for about 42 percent of the nationâs petrochemical manufacturing capacity. Join the Greater Houston Partnership at the second annual State of Houston's Petrochemical Industry luncheon, featuring Bob Patel, Chief Executive Officer, LyondellBasell Industries, who will share what is on the horizon for such an important sector of the greater Houston economy.Â