According to the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) and JPMorgan Chase & Co., Houston needs about 20,000 new workers in the growing petrochemical and commercial construction sectors based on their “Houston Skills Gap Report.” The report explains that many Houstonians need a high school diploma, or GED, and some additional community or technical college training, but no college degree to fill the job vacancies. Not long ago, chemical companies made a commitment of more than $100 billion in expansion projects from 2010-2023 for southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast.
Gina Luna, CEO of middle-market banking in Houston for JPMorgan Chase & Co. states, “Like many cities around the world, Houston does not train enough skilled workers to fill jobs that are readily available.” As a result, Chase and the GHP partnered in advocating for more community engagement and education targeted at bridging the skills gap.
The report states more than 855,000 residents ages 25 and older do not have a high school diploma. Additionally, 47 percent of the area’s Hispanic residents – the largest and fastest-growing population – do not have a high school diploma.
After successfully launching a pilot program this summer to address this need, Chase and the GHP are working with expanding the program to local community colleges.