Jobs booming in Houston & Texas, but lack of qualified workers

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - The Greater Houston Partnership expects our area to create nearly 300,000 jobs in the next five years that will require specific training.

GHP says those jobs are in oil and gas, medical and other fields. GHP's research shows there is a problem finding qualified workers to fill the open jobs.

Gina Luna, the chair of JPMorgan Chase in Houston, said, "If we don't fill those, it's really detrimental to the economic growth of our community. So, it impacts everybody."

At the Federal Reserve Monday, Luna announced UpSkill Houston, a program to train and educate workers who fall somewhere between having a high school diploma and a four-year education. The Partnership said 41 percent of all jobs in our area are considered middle skills positions.

Bob Harvey, the CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, said, "It's absolutely critical to the Houston economy. This is going to bring our growth... it's going to slow our growth if we don't address the issue. Frankly, we're also not going to have a healthy community if we don't find a way to provide those skills so they can enter the workforce productively."

Business leaders plan to better work with high schools, colleges and trade schools to better prepare students to go to work for jobs with starting salaries from $50,000 to $70,000.

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