Sen. Cornyn, Rep. Brady tour Lone Star College-Conroe Center, tout role of community colleges in creating prepared workforce
HOUSTON (Oct. 14, 2014) – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady visited Lone Star College-Conroe Center to learn more about the role LSC plays in building a prepared workforce.
“One of the biggest challenges is finding a workforce for these companies (in Montgomery County),” said Brady. “Lone Star College is an incredibly nimble community college. We are fortunate that Lone Star College is so responsive to industry’s needs. For us in Montgomery County to reach our economic potential, we need this partnership.”
Cornyn and Brady walked through the center, visiting with students in CNC machining and welding workforce development labs and learning more about the vital role LSC plays by working with local industry to help train workers and fill jobs.
It is estimated that 63 percent of all jobs will require some type of training beyond high school by 2018. The greater Houston region is witnessing a high demand for workers in middle-skills jobs like welders, machinists and more.
The LSC-Conroe Center provides a mix of academic transfer courses along with career training programs in machining, welding and automotive technology, as well as in a number of health profession programs like certified nurse aide and phlebotomy.
“Rather than focusing so much on how do we provide a minimum wage, I like the idea of focusing on how do we help people to qualify to get a maximum wage – and in the process help grow our economy and help create opportunities for other people,” Cornyn said.
“I know Lone Star College plays an absolutely essential role,” Cornyn said.
“What I like so much about community college is it offers the whole diversity of our communities and our state, the opportunity to earn an education and qualify for good, well-paying jobs and to me that’s what we need more of,” said Cornyn. “I think it’s particularly exciting to see the collaboration between high schools and Lone Star College – and then our four year colleges – and I hope it keeps more students in school. They’re better off and we’re better off for it.”
A number of representatives from local employers, including Tenaris and National Oilwell Varco, were also on hand at the center as well as LSC and Montgomery County officials. These companies work closely with LSC to help design training materials that are up-to-date and meet industry standards.
“It’s exciting to me to see the training that is going on at Lone Star College to make sure those jobs can be filled,” said Craig Doyal, Montgomery County judge-elect.
“We believe a strong workforce equals a strong community,” said Stephen Head, LSC chancellor. “Lone Star College is working hard to provide the education and training to meet area employer’s needs.”
Responding to community need, along with input from a committee of citizen leaders, the LSCS Board placed a $485 million bond referendum on the November ballot, which will be used to create more learning space to accommodate the extraordinary growth being seen in the LSC service area.
A large portion of the bond funds will also go toward the construction of new Advanced Technology Centers to help fill the critical shortage of trained technical workers as seen in Montgomery County and the greater Houston region.
Each fall, LSC welcomes more service area high school graduates than Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, Sam Houston State and the University of Houston combined. These students don’t leave the area when they’re done – 91 percent stay in the community after attending LSC, helping area employers keep up with the growing demand.
Photo 1: US Sen. John Cornyn, right and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, center, visit with an instructor at Lone Star College-Conroe Center to learn more about how LSC is helping to fill the middle skills job gap.
Photo 2: US Sen. John Cornyn, left and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, second from the right, took time during their visit of the Lone Star College-Conroe Center to take a photo with students and instructors in a welding lab.
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. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.