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Workforce Development

With a labor force more than 3 million workers strong, the Houston area offers a wide variety of talent at all skill levels. But there is also a regional focus on developing tomorrow's workforce through educating young people on emerging industries and re-training mid-career professionals for high-demand careers. Houston has developed a strong bridge between the talent needs of various industries and the educational programs being offered through colleges, universities and technical programs. 

777,020

Houstonians with a science, engineering or related degree

33.1 percent

One-third of Houstonians 25 years or older is a college graduate

16.9 percent

Part of Houston's digital tech firms that specialize in health care

Higher Education

The Houston region is home to more than 20 universities and colleges, including three Tier 1 universities. Houston-area colleges and universities educate nearly 230,000 students annually and graduated more than 56,000 students. In addition, another estimated 200,000 students are enrolled annually in local community and technical colleges. 

Local Universities

Institution

Texas A&M University-College Station

Undergraduate enrollment: 50,707

University of Houston

Undergraduate enrollment: 36,092

Sam Houston State University

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,416

Lamar University

Undergraduate enrollment: 9,129

University of Houston-Downtown

Undergraduate enrollment: 12,079

Texas Southern University

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,967

Prairie View A&M University

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,974

University of Houston-Clear Lake

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,798

Rice University

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,970

UT Health Science Center-Houston

Graduate enrollment: 4,533

University of Houston-Victoria, Katy Campus

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,317

Houston Baptist University

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,316

UT Medical Branch-Galveston

Graduate enrollment: 2,569

University of St. Thomas

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,864

Texas A&M Health Science Center

Graduate enrollment: 2,295

University of Phoenix-Texas

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,256

Texas A&M University at Galveston

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,848

Baylor College of Medicine

Graduate enrollment: 1,577

Art Institute of Houston

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,364

South Texas College of Law Houston

Graduate enrollment: 980

UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,577

Community Colleges

Institution

Lone Star College System

Undergraduate enrollment: 69,452

Houston Community College

Undergraduate enrollment: 49,782

San Jacinto Community College District

Undergraduate enrollment: 35,455

Blinn College District

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,465

Lee College

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,717

Wharton County Junior College

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,050

Alvin Community College

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,709

College of the Mainland Community College District

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,328

Brazosport College

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,229

Lamar Institute of Technology

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,983

Galveston College

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,197

Texas State Technical College-Fort Bend

Undergraduate enrollment: 412

Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions

The Gulf Coast Workforce Board and its operating affiliate Workforce Solutions are the public workforce system in the 13-county Houston-Galveston region of Texas. Workforce Solutions helps employers meet their human resource needs and individuals build careers, so both can compete in the global economy. In 2017, the organization served more than 426,000 individuals across the region.

Closing the Skills Gap with UpSkill

The Greater Houston Partnership developed UpSkill Houston, a comprehensive, industry-led approach to bridge the gap and fill jobs in “middle-skills” occupations, advanced technical and craft careers that require education and skills development beyond high school but less than a four-year college degree. UpSkill Houston is an innovative blueprint for leaders from the business community, educational institutions and social service organizations to utilize as we lead this effort to build a quality workforce.

Skill Development Fund

The Skills Development Fund is Texas' premier job-training program providing local customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce. The Texas Workforce Commission administers funding for the program. Success is achieved through collaboration among businesses, public community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards and economic development partners.

Related News

Economic Development

Countering COVID-19 Disruptions with Supply Chain Resiliency

3/28/20
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt many aspects of Houston's business community, including jobs and how businesses engage their customers. The crisis is also creating problems for the global supply chain. But experts say there are actions companies can take now to strengthen that chain and make it even more resilient in the long term.  Margaret Kidd is Program Director for Supply Chain & Logistics Technology at the University of Houston's College of Technology. She offered insight for businesses below.  What does a resilient supply chain look like?   A resilient supply chain is one that: conducts a risk management review at regular intervals has a business continuity/contingency plan has tested that plan at regular intervals A true resilient supply chain has factored in the cost of JIT (just-in-time) versus flexibility and has high visibility. Examples of flexibility include geographic location of first and second tier suppliers, as well as location of manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, along with modes of transportation for delivery.   While vetting of suppliers for quality, performance, and timely readiness are important, establishing purchasing procedures that provide proper incentives to vendors are also relevant to resiliency. Often, these are made with strict terms and conditions in the purchase order or manufacturing/service agreements. Ultimately, seeking partnerships with suppliers is the key to success. In the global disruption of the supply chain and various declarations of force majeure, relationships for the long term can help mitigate risk when literally the entire global community faces similar challenges.  What are the immediate actions business leaders must take now with regards to supply chain management to stay in operation?     If we consider Houston industrial companies, all should have been following the news from China as of early-January, Europe as of mid-February and the U.S. as of late-February/early-March. These companies should have already implemented a business continuity/continuation plan as a result of following the data points and established a central command unit. In many cases in the current environment, it is both availability of personnel and mode of transportation or routing that must be reconsidered, along with using second-tier/or other suppliers. If alternative geographic locations for manufacturing exist, those should have been activated before March. When there is no internal expertise on the logistics side, a best practice is to consider a 3PL/4PL provider.   Business leaders must have a firm grasp of delivery deadlines so that supplies reach the front line and get to market. To achieve these goals, companies need to thoroughly evaluate the suitable modes of transportation. On some trade lanes, reliable liner service will be impacted with "blank sailings" or insufficient containers given imbalance. On other trade lanes, given delays in capacity of air cargo, it actually might make more sense to utilize a quick liner service. The granularity of schedule, price, and reliability are key factors to analyze in supply chain management.   What are the greatest challenges in the short-term? Long-term?    One of the greatest challenges in the near term relate to sole source suppliers and disrupted maritime transport coming from Asia. In the long term, organizations engaged in manufacturing must diversify their facilities geographically and have multiple suppliers in various regions. Additionally, buffer stock during periods of known natural disasters such as hurricane season and Q4 retail/holiday season should be considered.   Reliable partners in logistics vendors are established on a long term basis with volume commitments. It is truly a challenge for global container carriers to serve all markets everywhere. Relationships with niche regional players are critical for timely delivery.  What’s the timeline for decisions they must make within the next 1-2 weeks? A month? 6 months? A year?    Regrettably, managing supply chain disruptions can impact both market share and stock price for many publicly traded companies. A high performing supply chain will use disruption as a competitive advantage. If organization leaders can alter the product or shape demand, then production can continue. A stellar supply chain leader will analyze risk through multiple lenses and most saliently through global connectivity. Disaster recovery will probably be occurring by mid-May/early-June for Houston (if we use China as our illustration). The advantage our region has for probably a quicker recovery relates to our decades-old urban planning dilemma - lack of population density and public transport, along with sprawl. We do not have the same compounding risk factors of China, Italy or, New York City. For organizations that did not have a fine-tuned business continuity plan, the next six months will be the time to get one in place and test and optimize their supply chain through JIT and flexibility.  Which resources should they leverage most to make those sound decisions?     The resources that should be leveraged are the subject matter experts within the organization. This translates into companies leveraging the human capital in both risk management and business continuity capacity, as well as bringing in consultants/3PL/4PL service advisors. In Houston, industrial companies regularly employ companies such as Agility, Bollore, Ceva, Crane Worldwide, DHL, Kuehne & Nagel, and UTC Overseas, respectively. The Partnership highlighted 12 key indicators on COVID-19's impact on Houston.  Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 
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COVID-19 Business Forums

What the 'Stay Home - Work Safe' Order Means For You

3/25/20
The Partnership hosted an online information session about the "Stay Home - Work Safe" Order on March 25. It's part of the organization's COVID-19 Houston Business Forum, a digital series providing the latest information and analysis on the crisis and its economic impact. How We Got Here President and CEO Bob Harvey kicked off the session by explaining the details of the order and what it means for Houston businesses.  Harvey explained the Partnership has been in regular communication with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's offices to ensure that employers in our critical industries were considered while also balancing the extraordinary need for citizens to avoid public interaction.  Harvey referenced a model from UTHealth that suggests by taking aggressive steps now, the peak of cases in Houston is forecast to happen in a couple of weeks. But then you have to consider we will still need aggressive measures for some time as we move down the back side of the slope. He said the UTHealth model suggests the longer Houston had waited to take aggressive action, the later we would hit the peak of infection and number of cases would be extraordinarily high (in the many tens of thousands). Harvey explained that's why Houston leadership moved to take action now. The Order Judge Hidalgo, in coordination with Mayor Turner, issued the mandatory order, which took effect at 11:59 pm on March 24, to preserve public health and safety in Harris County in the face of the coronavirus COVID-19. The order is now in effect through April 30. Click here to read the official order. Harvey said the industries and related jobs that are exempted as outlined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) can be found here. Harris County's order also exempts NASA, the Port of Houston, Houston airport and airline activities and some professional services. See the full list here. Harvey encouraged businesses and employees to read the full order carefully to understand what it means for them. "Even if you're an exempted company, you should determine which employees are absolutely essential who need to report in," said Harvey.  He said based on the UTHealth model, there's no expectation this order will be lifted by April 3, and that businesses should be thinking in terms of months - not weeks - when planning for all contingencies.  Applying for an Exemption Waiver Businesses in industries not exempted by the order may apply to the County for an waiver. Exemption requests must provide evidence that the business is essential to promoting the general welfare of the residents of Harris County. The County is currently developing an application process which will be made available at ReadyHarris.org.   Only employees deemed absolutely essential are allowed to report into these sectors  Enforcement of Order Harvey said while he encourages Houstonians to behave responsibly, law enforcement agencies within Harris County are authorized to enforce the order with a fine that doesn't exceed $1,000 or a jail term that exceeds 180 days.  Work Safe Harvey laid out the 10 principles the Partnership has established for companies in industries exempted from the Stay Home-Work Safe order. They're part of the Partnership's COVID-19 Houston Work Safe Company program, which is to encourage and acknowledge companies taking steps to ensure a work safe environment.  Harvey encouraged exempt companies to download the badge to identify their 'Work Safe' business on their websites and social media. Download a JPG of the Work Safe badge here and a PNG here. Exempt companies can also share this sample letter with their essential employees.  How Order Will Impact Houston's Business Community Harvey said the steps taken now are appropriate to avoid Houston facing a similar situation such as New York City and Northern Italy are facing. But he added these steps are going to be significant for Houston. "We're dealing with the combined effects of COVID-19 and the collapse of oil prices," said Harvey.  He said Houston's recovery phase is still a ways off and that businesses need to think about the actions they're taking now to avoid more aggressive actions further down the road.  The Greater Houston Partnership's COVID-19 Houston Business Forum is a digital series providing the latest information and analysis on the crisis and its economic impact. These presentations with local experts and business leaders are being conducted via teleconference.  Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 
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Related Events

COVID-19 Business Forums

COVID-19 Business Forum - Making Sense of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Partnership's COVID-19 Business Forum continues with a discussion around the Families First Coronavirus Response Act On April 2, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)…

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Living in Houston

Houston offers a low cost of living while maintaining an incredibly rich quality of life with the amenities you expect to find in a world-class city.

Talent

Houston offers a highly educated and ever-growing workforce skilled in both traditional and emerging industries.

Research

The Partnership's Research team are experts on the region's economy and key demographic trends.

Need more information about Houston? Your dedicated team member can help:

 
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Susan Davenport
Senior Vice President & Chief Economic Development Officer
Economic Development
E
sdavenport@houston.org
P
713-844-3612
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