Higher Education Gains from its Role in the UpSkill Houston Collaboration

Peter Beard, the Greater Houston Partnership’s senior vice president for Regional Workforce Development, leads the Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative. Beard recently hosted a roundtable of representatives from the various sectors participating in UpSkill Houston – industry, K-12, higher education, and community development. Dr. Brenda Hellyer, chancellor of San Jacinto College, participated in the roundtable, and her comments are excerpted below.  

Peter Beard: What are the unique benefits for higher education of working in collaboration with employers, K-12 educators, and community development leaders? 

Brenda Hellyer: From a higher ed standpoint, we’ve had advisory committees of industry leaders before, but this takes that work to a different level. With UpSkill Houston, we’ve said we want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. We want to know if our programs meet the needs of industry. And, if not, we want to know how we can fix them. Having the CEOs and our K-12 partners at the table with us for those conversations and to discuss how we align all of our work has taken our collaboration and program development to a whole new level. 

In this Gulf Coast region, there are nine community college systems… 

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