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Manufacturing skilled workers in high demand in Houston area

Houston has a manufacturing advantage. It has global access to markets with it being centrally located within the U.S. and the Americas. Not to mention its world-class infrastructure around two international airports, four seaports, rail, and highways all of which allows companies to minimize their transportation and distribution costs in North America and worldwide.

Lone Star College

“Employers are looking for workers who can design new high-tech products in a less expensive expedient manner, troubleshoot the production equipment, streamline production processes, and manage the supply chain to the manufacturing facility and out to market via roads, rail, ships or air,” said Linda Leto Head, senior associate vice chancellor, Office of External and Employer Relations, Lone Star College.

She said that what is required is a “can do” work attitude, a hunger for continuous learning, a commitment to product excellence and a vision for combining mechanics, electronics, electricity, motors, hydraulics, pneumatics, and of course PLCs.

In terms of training, Lone Star College offers a variety of skilled trade programs such as mechatronics and field service technician, CNC machining, mechanical design, welding and a number of pre-engineering programs. All of the program pathways are stackable from six weeks to two years. They are validated by the high demand, high-wage occupational list produced by the Houston-Galveston Area Workforce Council and current labor market data.

“The opportunities are endless once an LSC student completes their studies. The demand for trained tech workers is projected to remain steady and provide future employment growth. And it is more than just certifications. Lone Star College will also be offering a Bachelor of Applied Science in energy, manufacturing and trades management degree beginning fall 2020,” said Head.

She said that the best kept secret is the Lone Star Corporate College, an extension of a corporate training and development division, providing needs analysis, instructional design, expert trainers with industry experience and training project managers. Texas has invested millions of dollars into the Skilled Development Fund, where Lone Star College is recognized for securing to assist with many training development and implementation projects for skilled workers and information technology professionals.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College Central and North campuses are located in the heart of the chemical manufacturing industry, the largest in our city. However, the North campus is also surrounded by many fabricated metals and machining manufacturing companies, as well as food and beverage manufacturing companies. New manufacturing technologies are emerging in medical devices manufacturing for which training can be found at our South campus,” said Jerelyn Hughes-Glenn, director IT Tech, San Jacinto College.

She said that their students are being prepared to listen to and understand information presented orally or written, communicate information and ideas orally and in print so that others understand, recognize when something is wrong with prints, wiring, machines, and end products. For those students who desire to monitor and operate controls, perform routine maintenance, conduct tests and inspections of products, plan and layout work for production and schedule requirements, and/or setup and operate production manufacturing equipment to produce the end products, advance manufacturing training is what they need and that training can be found at San Jacinto College.