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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. 

25,000+

Local workforce of Houston's top 100 digital tech companies

33.3 percent

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

747,998

Houstonians with a science, engineering or related degree

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

Talent Developers Have New Pipeline to Employers

7/25/22
Talent developers across greater Houston have a new tool to help them directly connect clients without bachelor’s degrees to employers specifically seeking to hire them. The tool, Stellarworx, is a robust talent marketplace designed exclusively for jobseekers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) – those other than a bachelor’s degree. Stellarworx is now available to help the Houston region’s 1.6 million STARs jobseekers join candidate pools for good jobs through a new collaboration between the nonprofit social enterprise organization Opportunity@Work, the American Petroleum Institute, Chevron, and the Partnership through its UpSkill Houston initiative. “We know that talent developers can struggle to identify players who are actively hiring STARs and spend months build relationships with employers and compete for a limited number of jobs available for STARs,” said Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels in a recent meeting hosted by UpSkill Houston. “The employers on Stellarworx have chosen to come to us because they want to embrace skills-based hiring and they want to hire STARs, and they recognize the diverse skills and perspectives that STARs bring to the table.” STARs account for about 70 million workers nationwide (60 percent of the American workforce) and cut across all demographics and people groups, according to Opportunity@Work. They have developed skills employers seek and value through avenues including community college, military service, and on-the-job training, but are often screened out of talent searches because they do not hold a bachelor’s degree. Thanks to degree requirements used as proxies for skills – or what is called “the paper ceiling” – these workers only have access to about 26 percent of all new jobs created. The paper ceiling has long-lasting effects on workers’ earning power, as it takes a STAR 30 years to reach the wages of a recent college graduate.  Stellarworx is helping change this by providing talent developers an easier way to have their clients recognized by employers hiring for good jobs with good pay and opportunities for career advancement. All jobs posted on Stellarworx come with a minimum wage of $20 per hour, and they all must lead to a career pathway. The talent marketplace: Uses skills-based matching to identify employers and jobs best suited to enrolled STARs. Offers talent developers a one-stop-shop to aggregate labor market supply and demand information. Supports a healthy feedback loop between talent developers and employers to drive better client outcomes long term. Provides talent developers data and insights to track their clients’ career searches. The Stellarworx talent marketplace was launched in late 2020 is currently operating in three U.S. cities (and counting). More than 110 employers utilize the platform to find talent from its 2,100 talented STAR users. Opportunity@Work, which developed the platform, works to rewire the labor market open pathways for STARs to work, learn, and earn to their full potential.  “If they have the skills to do the job, they should be able to get the job,”  the organization’s Bridgette Gray said. Talent developers who are interested in learning more can contact Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels directly at nicole@opportunityatwork.org.   Related: Recognizing Workforce STARs a Competitive Advantage The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative works to strengthen the talent pipeline employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians build relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility. Learn more.
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Economic Development

Houston Earns Top Spot Globally for Cost of Living

7/20/22
Houston ranked No. 1 in the world for local purchasing power, making the city an affordable place to live, according to a new report from online publisher Visual Capitalist.  Purchasing power, a metric used to gauge the number of goods and services someone on an average salary can buy, has become increasingly important to consumers amid rising inflation. The report uses New York City as a benchmark due to its high cost of living to compare both purchasing power and cost of living, or the average day-to-day expenses incurred in a given community. According to the analysis, Houston’s local purchasing power is 73% greater than New York’s. Click to expand Houston’s cost of living is 36.1% lower than the Big Apple. Houston’s cost of living is 16% lower than Los Angeles’ cost of living index at 79.2. In comparison to international cities, Beijing’s cost of living falls 14.4% lower than Houston while Tokyo and London’s cost of living rate ranks 21.7% higher than Houston. Click to expand Patrick Jankowski, the Partnership’s Senior Vice President of Research, predicts consumers will continue to feel inflation well into the end of 2022 and into 2023. The Federal Reserve will meet later this month to discuss another interest rate hike in hopes of quelling inflation. There are hints that inflation may soon start to moderate due to recent dips in prices for corn, wheat, copper, lumber, oil and natural gas.   Learn more about living and working in Houston.
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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.

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