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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. 

33.3 percent

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

20

Houston is home to 20 Forbes Global 2000 headquarters

8.25%

City of Houston has a combined sales and use tax rate of 8.25 percent

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

COVID-19 Business Forums

National Chamber Day: Partnership’s Impact

10/20/21
Since 1840, the Greater Houston Partnership has strived to make the Houston region the best place to live, work and build a business. Through the dedicated efforts of our 900 member companies in the 12-county Houston region, the Partnership supports the growth of industry and innovation by convening community-minded business leaders with one goal in mind - to make Houston greater.  While the world around us is rapidly changing, the Partnership remains committed to our mission-driven work that promotes Houston’s growth. As Houston’s largest regional chamber of commerce and principle business organization, the Partnership is recognizing this year’s Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day by looking back at some of the greatest impacts we’ve made in Houston in the last year.  Serving as a Robust COVID-19 Resource The virus’ arrival to Houston in the spring of 2020 drastically changed how the Partnership served our region. Halting in-person interactions to ensure the health and safety of our members, the Partnership quickly shifted major events, programs and meetings to an online environment. Through virtual forums with leading medical experts, as well as comprehensive communications through email, social media and the Partnership’s website, Houston.org, our organization worked closely with leadership at the Texas Medical Center to become a reliable source of COVID-19 data, best business practices, and health and safety information.  Tom DeBesse, Region Bank President of Houston North Region at Wells Fargo, said staying engaged with the Partnership during this critical time ensured his team remained well informed to make important decisions on employee and customer safety.  "I can’t tell you how important it has been to stay on top of information regarding COVID-19 as we’ve had to make changes to our daily operations during these difficult times,” DeBesse said. “The Greater Houston Partnership has served as a valuable resource for us—providing timely and useful updates that bring awareness and insight to news, health data, and best practices as it pertains to impacting our local business community." Convening the Greater Houston Business Community Serving 900 member companies, the Partnership plays a major role for facilitating local, national and international business connections. Providing an avenue for connections through events, membership networking and business-driven conversations, allows Houston – and businesses to benefit in ways that are most valuable to their company.  Tracy Weeden, President & CEO of Neuhaus Education Center, said the connections she’s formed through her membership with the Partnership have made a significant impact on her business.  “Becoming a member of the Partnership was one of the best professional decisions I’ve made as a CEO,” Weeden said. “Even though I’m leading a nonprofit, the ability to cross-pollinate with organizations in various industries is extremely helpful. Interacting and benefiting from the thought leadership in the business community has shown me that they are really tackling the same issues we are facing.” Impact-Driven The Partnership work to promote economic development and trade is reflected through our initiatives and economic development projects. Most recently, the Partnership launched the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, which will be guided by a strategic regional blueprint for leading the global energy transition to a low-carbon world. This initiative demonstrates the collective impact the Partnership makes when convening key stakeholders across industry, government and academia and highlights the organization's work to position Houston among the great global cities of the future. Steve Clarke, Division Vice President of Jacobs and Chair of the Partnership’s Infrastructure and Resiliency Advisory Committee, said he’s proud to play a role in the Partnership’s impact to infrastructure projects around the region.  “It is not often that you get to be part of a legacy project that will ultimately protect millions of our fellow Texans and change the way that we all look at Coastal Resilience,” Clarke said. “Thanks to the Greater Houston Partnership and the members of the Infrastructure Resiliency Advisory Committee, that I’ve had the honor of chairing the past 2 years, for your advocacy and lobbying that have made coastal infrastructure projects like this and many others possible.” Learn more about the Partnership’s impact. Have a testimonial you'd like to share with us? Share your story with our Member Engagement team. 
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Economic Development

Soft Office Market Spells Opportunity for Current Houston Companies, Prospects

10/15/21
Pandemic induced weakness in Houston’s office market is creating significant opportunities for tenants seeking higher quality space and concessions. The shifting dynamics are also making the Houston market more attractive to companies eyeing relocation from more expensive coastal cities.  Much like other major U.S. markets, Houston is striving to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic’s uncertainty, according to a Q3 report on the local office market from commercial real estate group JLL.  During the most recent quarter that ended September 30, the office market recorded 268,509 square feet of negative net absorption, bringing the total to 2.2 million square feet of occupancy losses so far this year. Total vacancy in the market stands at 27.2%, which is a new high.  JLL Senior Research Analyst Isabel Choi said that despite the most recent losses, the decline rate in absorption is slowing, suggesting some improvement. “I don’t think the market is turning a corner yet,” Choi cautioned. “Vacancy is expected to peak in the high 20%-range in early 2022 and will begin a slow recovery.”  The current market dynamics are creating a “flight to quality” among tenants looking for better digs at cheaper or comparable rates. “The next 6 to 12 months will be an opportune time to execute a lease in the office market,” Choi said. “As new sublease space continues to be added to the market, there are also some long-term, move-in ready sublease availabilities for companies willing to consider those options. These can offer discounted prices in terms of rents to large-scale tenants with good amenities.” Choi said Texas is seeing more activity from companies looking to move from West and East Coast markets. “Based on JLL’s tracking of recent corporate moves, the Houston metro has seen greater activity from new and expanding companies as well,” she said.  The prospective tenant mix is similar to what it was pre-pandemic, Choi said, led by companies in the energy/utility and banking/insurance industries, as well as back-office health care. There’s also growing interest among operators of coworking spaces and executive suites looking to satisfy increased demand among flexibility-seeking tenants.  Houston’s growing population, relatively low cost of living and diversity are all factors that continue to work in the office market’s favor, Choi said.  JLL is a Partnership board member company.  Get the latest JLL report and get more data on the Houston real estate market.   
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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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