Houston college system snags part of $3.3M investment in resiliency innovation

Houston Community College and its partners received a $1.8 million grant from JPMorgan Chase this month. It aims to train underserved Houstonians in jobs that will help strengthen the city’s preparedness for the aftermath of natural disasters.

This funding will be used to create a certificate program starting in the Fall 2022 semester as part of The Resilient Workforce Collaborative.

“The Resilient Workforce Collaborative will bring together the public and private sectors, higher education institutions and non-profit partners to make a difference in the most underserved areas,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in a statement. “This collaborative effort complements our efforts within the Complete Community to prepare low- and middle-income Houstonians for in-demand jobs and potential green career talent pipelines that enhance the city’s resilience. “This resourceful partnership is a welcome addition to Houston’s workforce development environment.”

The joint venture will operate from HCC’s Resiliency Center of Excellence, which was first announced in May, and will open a $35 million Resiliency Operations Center at HCC’s Northeast College in 2024. Other members of the joint venture include the City of Houston, Harris County and employees. Solutions Gulf Coast, Resilience Innovation Hub, American Youth Works, WorkTexas, TRIO Electric, TRIO Education, Memorial Assistance Ministries, South Union CDC, Impact Hub Houston, Neuhaus Education Center, TXRX Labs, Volunteers of America-TX, Wesley Community Center, and JPMorgan Chase.

The program aims to help residents of Houston’s most underserved and resource-poor areas find career opportunities in clean energy, disaster response, utilities, trade and manufacturing. purpose. According to HCC, “A key element of collaboration is for the employer to change some of its hiring practices to emphasize professional training credentials over her traditional four-year program.”

Partnering employers so far include the City of Houston, Harris County and TRIO Electric, and the community is seeking more employers and funders to support its mission.

“This collaboration will provide a ‘go-to place’ for Houstonians to learn skills that will lead to high-paying jobs. It’s a better system because it’s set up to meet the needs that already exist in the workplace,” he said in a statement, HCC President Cesar Maldonado.

HCC and the City of Houston signed a memorandum of understanding in August to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. The MOU will train 500,000 citizens, employees, small businesses, volunteers and first responders in a new resilience training program starting this fall. .

At that time, seven courses in resilience have been announced, with another 30 to be added in 2023. This program is offered at 22 HCC locations.

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