Skip to main content

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. 

24.9 percent

Part of local digital tech firms that focus on information technology

Fortune 500
#3

Houston ranks #3 among U.S. metro areas in Fortune 500 headquarters

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

Digital Technology

New Generation of Startups Aim to Fuel Resurgence of Advanced Manufacturing in Houston

5/13/22
An autonomous rover dubbed the “layout Roomba” that marks architectural and engineering designs directly onto unfinished concrete floors is one of many examples of the innovation happening in Houston’s advanced manufacturing sector. The city boasts a thriving tech ecosystem and is considered a global manufacturing powerhouse due to its central geographic location, unparalleled infrastructure and talented workforce.  Funding is now flowing into Houston to help drive the next wave of manufacturing innovation. According to the Partnership’s 2022 Houston Tech Report, more than 900 investors have funded over 1,500 venture capital transactions in the Houston region over the last five years. Data shows that 8.6% of all VC deals are funding manufacturing projects with another 8.7% funding AI and machine learning ventures.  “I think Houston is a great place to start a company. It hosts a diverse pool of exceptional talent, a reasonable cost of living and a welcoming start-up community,” said Derrick Morse, CEO and founder of Rugged Robotics. “Houston is also home to a number of innovative companies that solve really hard and really important problems.”  Rugged Robotics, a Houston startup company founded in 2018, hopes to revolutionize the construction industry by tackling the challenge of field layout by using its small robot to create a more detailed, more accurate and faster way of doing the work. Traditionally, a construction worker must do the marking manually using tape measures, chalk lines and surveying equipment. Morse, a construction industry veteran, said he saw a need to solve a pain point in the construction industry. “By focusing on the problem, and by developing a practical solution, we’ve unlocked a very exciting opportunity” Morse said. Rugged Robotics is operating out of the East End Maker Hub, a makerspace and manufacturing center in Houston’s East End. Morse said it was a no-brainer to choose the incubator as they started growing. “The East End Maker Hub was initially attractive for two reasons,” Morse said.  “First, access to the machine tools and rapid prototyping equipment we were familiar with at TXRX, and second, flexibility.” He added that the flexibility of the leases allows the company to move into bigger spaces as they evolve. Next month will mark a year since the $38 million innovation hub opened. Urban Partnerships Community Development Corporation says the facility is 95% occupied with 49 tenants from candle making to biotech/manufacturing, a sign of a successful first year. The East End Maker Hub aims to create 1,000 new companies over the next five years to boost Houston’s advanced manufacturing jobs. Houston has one of the largest manufacturing workforces in the country with more than 213,100 workers, but it declined by 8.6% between 2015 and 2020, according to the Partnership’s analysis. “We've retained or created over 330 jobs thus far and aim for 500 in the coming years. We're a model for how to use public funding to jump start development to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Natasha Azizi, Executive Director of UP CDC and East End Maker Hub. The East End Maker Hub is part of several landmark projects to position Houston as a national leader in tech innovation.  According to the Houston Tech Report, venture capital investments have grown  from $423 million in 2017 to $2.02 billion in 2021, a near five-fold increase and an unprecedented 47.4% growth rate per year. Click to expand Rugged Robotics team Rugged Robotics recently raised $9.4 million in Series A funding to help the company hire more people, expand its products and more. “We’ve built an amazing foundation, and I’m excited by the road ahead.  Our team is truly inspiring.  I can’t wait to see what we’re capable of,” Morse said. Learn more about Houston's advanced manufacturing sector and innovation ecosystem.   
Read More
Economic Development

Now is the Time to Hire Houston Youth

5/12/22
With summer comes a valuable opportunity for employers to tap into up-and-coming talent to accomplish real, meaningful work while investing into the workforce Houston will need to ensure it retains its competitive 21st-century economy: The paid internship.  Meaningful internships can empower an entire generation while building toward a more prosperous future by giving students and young adults an opportunity to ‘window-shop’ for careers in a variety of industries and settings and recognize career pathways, to learn workforce behaviors, and understand how their coursework applies in a business setting.  Since 2016, the City of Houston has helped employers access a diverse spectrum of more than 26,000 young, talented Houstonians aged 16 through 24 through its Hire Houston Youth program. The program has also facilitated job readiness training for over 35,000 youth and adults. This summer, the City is asking employers to provide 16,000 summer internship, job, and apprenticeship opportunities. Program details: Internships should last at least eight weeks (June 13 and Aug. 5, 2022) Internships should pay at least $10 per hour; the average pay in 2021 was $15 per hour Employers without openings can sponsor an intern or register and join the Hire Houston Youth community Additionally, the City is hosting a job and resource fair on June 11, 2022, at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. The fair is open to employers from across the entire region and jobseekers of all ages.   See more details and add your openings for the Hire Houston Youth program here. Register for the June 11 job and resource fair here.
Read More

Related Events

COVID-19

Economy Series: October Economic Update

The Partnership's monthly Economy Series presents exclusive data and examines trends impacting our economy on a local and state level. Analysis by the Partnership's Research Division is frequently used by executives…

Learn More
Learn More

Take the Next Step

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:

 
Facilitate and foster key introductions
 
Assist in evaluating and applying for incentives
 
Identify potential business facilities
Susan Davenport
Senior Vice President & Chief Economic Development Officer
Economic Development
E
sdavenport@houston.org
P
713-844-3612
Looking for the rest of our team?
Partnership Staff
Have someone from our Economic Development Team contact you: