July/August 2022
Houston Back on Track, Partners Continue Support for Jobseekers Amid Economic Recovery
The Houston region's employment figures have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels but the overall labor market landscape doesn't look the same as it did in 2020, and it will continue to change. Our region's economic recovery is complicated. Recovery rates have not been consistent across all industry sectors, with construction, information, manufacturing, other services, and mining and logging sectors still yet to reach their February 2020 employment levels as of June 2022. Strong job growth in May and June are tempered by the uncertainty of growing inflation and a softening economy.

The Partnership's Houston Back on Track job recovery initiative continues with its work connecting Houstonians with good job opportunities. It partnered in July with WorkFaith to hold a second employer expo featuring a dozen major employers ranging from HCA Houston Healthcare to Mustang Cat offering good jobs in areas like customer service, transportation and business support, among others. Back on Track also rolled out a series of radio spots and digital outreach to engage potential jobseeker pools in underserved communities and neighborhoods and connect them with community partners who can support and prepare them to obtain employment.

UpSkill Houston is also continuing its work to expand access to good jobs by helping employers broaden their talent pools and removing barriers for skilled talent without bachelor's degrees. Working with key employer champions and partners, we are reaching out to and engaging human resources and talent acquisition professionals to develop apprenticeships and strategic partnerships with talent developers.

See Workforce Solutions' Monthly Local Employment Statistics.
Energy Transition an Opportunity for Workforce Equity Evolution
The transition to a new and clean energy economy is continuing and will drive changes to our regional labor market and the skills needs in our workforce. Total energy employment rose by 4.0% nationwide from 2020 to 2021, faster than the overall national workforce during that period, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Texas saw a net gain of 31,000 jobs.

The Houston and Texas Gulf Coast region is leading this transition and evolution. Houston’s energy industry is working today to ensure this transition opens good job opportunities to include all Houstonians. In leading this transition, Houston and its employers are poised to demonstrate innovative practices to access, recruit and retain the diverse skilled talent needed to succeed in this new economy.
Creating an Inclusive Clean Energy Workforce
What will the new clean energy workforce look like? Who will be able to participate and who stands to be left out?

On August 26, UpSkill Houston will welcome ALLY Energy's Katie Mehnert and U.S. Department of Energy's Lady Idos for an UpSkill Works forum discussion on the trends in the clean energy workforce of the future and how the Houston region can prepare this workforce and successfully shift to a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and sustainable energy future. We invite you to join us for a broadcast of the forum.
Click above to register for the broadcast of the next UpSkill Works forum, "The Clean Energy Workforce of the Future"
A Workforce Powered by STARs
Employers in greater Houston’s energy sector are no strangers to hiring candidates with the right skills—candidates who are safety-minded and detail-oriented, and who have strong communication, organization, problem solving and analytical skills among others. Employers also understand that these skills can be built and honed through internships and apprenticeships, military experience, or a few years of work experience—all routes alternative to a four-year bachelor's degree. Yet jobseekers Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) have traditionally faced difficulty being visible to employers while employers have been challenged to find the right talent to match good jobs they're seeking to fill.

UpSkill Houston is collaborating with Opportunity@Work and employer champions and partners to provide talent developers a new tool specifically designed to help STARs connect with employers and good job opportunities. The Stellarworx talent marketplace exclusively features STAR candidates and employers that specifically seek to screen in STAR talent, easing the way for qualified STARs to connect with employers and vice versa, and driving a more inclusive hiring process. The platform in available in select cities, making Houston a leader in exploring innovative, skills-based talent solutions.

UpSkill Houston @ SXSW EDU: Understanding the Economy to Drive Student Success
Regional and local economies are dynamic and shifting. Understanding them is key to driving student success now and in the future.

UpSkill Houston is perfectly positioned to help educators and college and career counselors effectively apply labor market information and skills trends to design curriculum, programs of study, and coursework that build valuable skills in their students and support them as they navigate a region’s industries and careers. At the 2023 SXSW EDU Conference & Festival, we have the opportunity to highlight the knowledge, effective, and successful practices developed here in Houston that apply data and build long-term engagement and partnerships with employers.

Help secure our place in Austin by voting for our session, "Understanding the Economy to Drive Student Success," in the SXSW Edu PanelPicker. Voting ends August 21, 2022.
Click above to vote for UpSkill Houston's SXSW EDU session
The annual event draws an audience of more than 4,000 teachers, counselors and administrators for four days of educational and professional development programming.

By presenting, UpSkill Houston would have the opportunity to equip educators from across Texas and the country with actionable takeaways successfully practiced in Houston.
Vote for UpSkill Houston in the PanelPicker here.
Connect and Stay Social With Us & Our Partners
Stay in touch and keep informed throughout the month by getting social. We share relevant news and events from our partners and from across our regional workforce development ecosystem to help accelerate momentum around partnerships that work, ideas that can be replicated, and initiatives that drive results.
Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube below, or find us at handle @UpSkillHouston. Be sure to tag us or send a direct message to share content with us, too!
Workforce Development
Events & Opportunities
  • Ongoing: Workforce Solutions; Upcoming hiring events and trainings listed by Workforce Solutions
  • Ongoing: MorePathways.org; Upcoming training programs listed by BridgeYear
  • Aug. 17: Ft. Bend Job + Resources Fair; Jobseekers can meet employers, apply for positions and sign up for free career services and more at this free event from SerJobs
  • Aug. 26: UpSkill Works Forum: The Clean Energy of the Future; UpSkill Houston welcomes ALLY Energy's Katie Mehnert and U.S. Department of Energy's Lady Idos for a discussion of the evolution of Houston's energy transition workforce and how Houston can successfully shift to a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and sustainable energy future
  • Sept. 20: State of the Texas Medical Center; Join the Partnership for a look at developments and innovations planned for the Texas Medical Center (TMC) featuring William "Bill" McKeon, TMC president & CEO
  • Sept. 29: State of Infrastructure; Hear from experts working to build equitable, resilient communities during this inaugural Partnership event
  • Sept. 29: C3 & AGC Workforce Development Conference; C3 and the Associated General Contractors invite Houston's commercial construction leaders to connect and network with postsecondary education, economic development, and workforce development industry experts featuring a keynote address by UpSkill Houston's Peter Beard
  • Oct. 5: State of the Airports; The Partnership will welcome Mario Diaz, Houston airports director, for a look at growth plans for Houston's three airports and the role they play in bolstering the city's position as an international air getaway
  • Oct. 25: Houston DiverCity Summit; Join the Houston region's business leaders and talent and DEI executives for successful practices, peer connection, and first-rate resources to help you mature your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies
Resources & Readings
Led by and for employers, UpSkill Houston builds the pipeline of skilled workers to grow the regional economy and provide opportunity for all Houstonians.
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