August 2021
Employers Have New Ally in Talent, Skills Development
Employers across greater Houston's diverse economy have a new resource to help them develop the skilled workers they need while fostering a stream of talent for the future: the Greater Houston Apprentice Network (GHAN). Apprenticeships blend education with paid work and mentorship and are a proven model for building a skilled entry-level workforce with a high return on investment. Apprentice programs are widely associated with trade and craft occupations but are tools that lend themselves well to a much broader scope of roles within medical, insurance, customer service and insurance fields. The GHAN brings a collaborative approach to support the design and implementation of these key workforce programs.

The GHAN was launched in August by Accenture and Aon, along with the Partnership. Founding partners include UpSkill Houston partners Amazon Web Services, Dow, Texas Mutual Insurance, and Worley, along with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Contact Accenture's Lindsay Hyman to learn more and get involved. Related: The Apprenticeship: An Underutilized Tool for Employers in an Uncertain World
Forum Offers Insights Into Jobseekers, Workforce Personas
Jobseekers across greater Houston are fresh faces, hard workers, resilient, survivors, and strivers. Understanding the motivations, anxieties and so-called 'pain points' of Houston's jobseekers can help employers tap into talent and assist service and training providers in building effective programs to help individuals get back on their feet. Participants in UpSkill Houston's Aug. 24 UpSkill Works Forum learned how jobseeker and client personas can be powerful tools for employers and organizations to achieve their goals as job recovery efforts continue.

The session featured Jen Shafer, a researcher and master's fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who shared her qualitative research into Houston's jobseekers, and discussions between Greg Hambrick of Fast Forward Works and Rice University's Fred Oswald, and Amanda McMillan of United Way of Greater Houston, Helen Stagg of Change Happens!, and the WorkFaith Connection's Matt Killian.
Personas can be powerful tools for employers and organizations
Click above to watch a recording
The Forum was the first of a two-part series recognizing Labor Day and the important contributions workers make to the Houston region’s strength, prosperity, and well-being. The second part will be held Sept. 8, with a practical look at how Houston's employers can support workforce recovery.
Register here to join us for the second part of our Labor Day series – Pathways to Better Opportunities.
New School Year, New Opportunity to Inspire Tomorrow's Talent
The beginning of a new school year is a perfect time to engage, or re-engage, students in career exploration. With the new school year come new classes and extracurricular activities, and myriad opportunities for students to learn new things, build new skills, and explore new interests.

UpSkill Houston has created a series of short, career-oriented videos and resources to help students, career seekers, and parents, and educators, counselors, and career coaches, learn about and discuss career opportunities within our regional economy and the multiple pathways into them.
Series helps students and career seekers see professionals in high-value roles across key industries, boosting awareness and improving perceptions
The "My Life As..." career series features workers from prominent employers in key industries that help keep our regional economy globally competitive who share what they do on the job, the pathways they followed into their careers, and the skills and credentials or certifications they need to be successful. Each inspiring story comes with career and industry fact sheets. While the stories highlight careers within the automotive, healthcare, transportation, and petrochemical manufacturing industries, they speak to the wider landscape of careers that offer ample opportunity for personal and financial growth but are less visible to the average Houstonian.

The stories are accompanied by a series of brief animations developed in partnership with RED+BLACK that highlight key soft, or employability, skills that are transferrable across industries, job roles, and work settings, and between professional and personal lives.

The full "My Life As..." and Soft Skill series can be viewed at; Please contact UpSkill Houston's Susan Moore to access pre-written social media content and sharables free for use by our partners.
UpSkill Houston has also created a quarterly newsletter featuring industry insights and career data to support the work of career counselors and coaches.
Sign up to receive the Coach Connect newsletter here.
September Spotlight on Workforce Development
Each of our UpSkill Houston partners is critically important to strengthening the region's talent pipeline for good careers to maintain a strong, diverse, 21st-century economy and that increase economic opportunity and mobility. Join us and the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals in celebrating Workforce Development Month in September by highlighting your workforce development activities via social media.

Posts can range from photos of training programs in action to spotlights on your workforce development leaders to testimonials from program participants. Post using the hashtags #workforcedevelopmentmonth or #workdevmonth to join the movement, and be sure to tag UpSkill Houston – @UpSkillHouston – on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn so we can amplify your work to our regional, statewide, and national network.

Workforce Report: July Stronger Than Average
The Gulf Coast Workforce Board's July Houston Area Employment Situation indicated a stronger-than-average July contributing to generally a generally positive trend of recovery. In July, the Houston region lost 7,100 Nonfarm jobs, far lower than average for July ,of 15,600 jobs lost, indicating a stronger-than-average month, the report said. The unemployment rate (not seasonally-adjusted) declined from 7.4 percent in June to 6.8 percent in July. Over the year, total Nonfarm employment was up 4.5 percent (seasonally-adjusted), however full recovery of Houston’s labor market to February 2020 levels is not likely until late 2022 at the earliest, according to the report. UpSkill Houston and its partners will continue supporting employers and jobseekers as the recovery continues.

Learning Opportunities & Workforce Events
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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