TSC, HCC and SJC partner to strengthen workforce for ports and aerospace industry

Texas Southmost College is leading a coastal community college workforce training consortium designed to increase the number of students earning college credentials leading to high demand jobs at Texas’ seaports and the aerospace industry.

Funded through a $1.8 million grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), TSC, Houston Community College (HCC) and San Jacinto College (SJC) will collaboratively create, redesign, or expand the reach of training for nine industry-aligned college credentials in transportation, distribution, logistics and information technology that support our seaports and aerospace industry.

“The need for a skilled workforce in our region is growing exponentially, and there is a pressing need to fill positions at companies located within our ports and those associated with the aerospace industry,” said TSC President Jesús Roberto Rodríguez. “With this THECB grant and the cooperative spirit of the coastal community college consortium working in unity, we will offer high value short-term credentials and certifications that lead to immediate employment.”

THECB’s Texas Reskilling and Upskilling for Education (TRUE) grant program is designed to accelerate workforce training credential opportunities urgently needed for economic recovery due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a future competitive workforce in Texas. Through the program, the consortium will invest in developing pathways for: forklift operators to earn a certified logistics associate and logistics technician certification, diesel engine mechanics, truck driving, merchant mariners, cybersecurity and networking technology.

SJC Chancellor Brenda Hellyer, Ph.D. said receiving this funding allows the consortium to grow its training in these high demand areas.

“San Jacinto College appreciates the support of the THECB for awarding this consortium a reskilling grant so that we can focus on training in high demand and high growth pathways in transportation,” said Hellyer. “The Gulf Coast region is a hub for cargo destined for Midwest and Western regions of the United States, so our ability to provide training in areas such as forklift operations, truck driving, and merchant mariner are critical to keeping the supply chain moving and helping to get goods to their final destination.”

HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E. said these funds will allow HCC to expand its training capacity and further supply the coastal region with the skilled workers it needs.

“HCC is proud to be included in the coastal community college consortium on the TRUE grant,” said Maldonado. “In addition to the opportunity to partner with our gulf coast peers, HCC greatly appreciates the opportunity it provides for our students and community in getting the necessary technology at HCC to expand our training capacity in the IT sector, a sector that continues to see vast expansion in the Houston region.”

President Rodríguez said the TRUE grant program not only enhances the long-standing collaboration between the three coastal community colleges but strengthens it.

“This consortium TSC is leading has been given the opportunity to build capacity to engage more students, develop additional training curriculum, enhance our teaching capabilities and secure additional state-of-the-art equipment,” said Rodriguez. “We look forward to building upon this momentum, working with HCC, SJC and other institutions, to meet the workforce needs of our region and state.”