The Houston City Council has approved funding for Lone Star College instructors to train Houston Airport System (HAS) construction workers. Currently there are multiple construction projects scheduled for Bush Intercontinental, Hobby and Ellington airports, including a new international terminal at Bush.
“Lone Star College has a long track record of producing a trained workforce that is ready to keep Houston growing,” said Melissa Gonzalez, LSC vice chancellor for workforce and economic development. “We are excited about helping to fill the need and look forward to working with the city of Houston.”
Workers will be trained via the Houston Area Construction Collaborative and operate out of an existing facility located at Bush. The approved funding, a total of $7.66 million, includes $3.75 million to renovate the current facility.
Instructors from LSC will be joined by Houston Community College and San Jacinto College, and offer a variety of courses in various skill training including plumbing, pipe fitting and electrician work.
“Continuing education and training are important in just about every professional field but it’s especially vital in the area of construction,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “This new training center will help to ensure that our vital airport facilities are growing in a manner that’s both safe and efficient and provide participants with valuable training in the various trades that could lead to productive careers.”
City officials noted that once the training center is operational, all employees working on HAS-designated construction projects will be required to attend a mandatory training class to learn OSHA and HAS safety and security guidelines and requirements.
“It is in the best interest of the Houston Airport System to have a well-educated, highly qualified workforce spearheading our various construction projects,” Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz said in a statement. “Whether that person is employed by HAS or a private sector company, they need to have a solid grasp on the skills that are needed to perform their job and that skillset needs to be constantly evolving.”
In addition to the city of Houston, LSC partners with companies like FMC Technologies, Inc., Parker Drilling, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, LLC, Baker Hughes and Stewart & Stevenson, as well as professional organizations like the International Association of Drilling Contractors and others, to ensure students are using the most current industry-standard equipment and software. It is estimated that 63 percent of all jobs will require education or training beyond high school by 2018.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced a new construction education program to be located at Bush International Airport and administered by Lone Star College, Houston Community College, and San Jacinto College. Pictured left to right are: Ed Gonzalez, Houston councilman; Dr. Maya Durnovo, HCC chief entrepreneurial officer; Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, LSC vice chancellor workforce and economic development; Jerry Davis, Houston councilman; Mayor Parker; Dwight Boykins, Houston councilman; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, SJC chancellor.
Lone Star College has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSC remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with almost 83,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 95,000, Lone Star College is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online.