AN INDUSTRY-LED COLLABORATION WORKING TO CLOSE THE SKILLS GAP

THE CHALLENGE: THE COASTAL BEND’S MIDDLE-SKILLS GAP

The Corpus Christi region has experienced incredible growth over the last several years. Led by a resurgence in energy, petrochemicals, manufacturing, life sciences, and construction, the region’s economy has been widely acclaimed as one of opportunity. However, leaders from across the business community have identified one of the region’s most pressing issues as finding qualified workers for good jobs vital to the success of our industries.

The Coastal Bend’s skills gap has reached critical proportions among middle-skill jobs—those that require more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree.

The mounting challenge for greater Corpus Christi’s industries equals potential advancement for its citizens. UpSkill Coastal Bend helps to ensure that unemployed and underemployed workers as well as young people in the Corpus Christi region have the skills and opportunities to build successful careers, stabilize their families, and improve their lives.

OUR RESPONSE: AN UNPRECEDENTED, INDUSTRY-LED COLLABORATION

In 2018, a coalition of education, industry, and government leaders created UpSkill Coastal Bend—among the nation’s first business-led collaborations working with education and community stakeholders—to close our region’s skills gap by aligning collective efforts to pursue three fundamental objectives:

ATTRACT unemployed and underemployed Coastal Bend residents and youth to middle-skill positions across the region—in part by raising awareness of and changing perceptions about these careers.

TRAIN individuals in the technical and employability skills necessary for success—using curricula built around industry demand and aligned across the sector for portability.

PLACE and retain these workers in middle-skill jobs on career paths that reward those who continue to upgrade their skills and mentor those who need a little support.

UpSkill Coastal Bend helps break down barriers, foster open dialogue, and create a singular vision to power solutions that prepare our workforce for good-paying middle-skill jobs in high demand across the region.

UpSkill Coastal Bend provides resources, structure, and convening opportunities to foster region- and sector-wide collaboration among employers and educational institutions, as well as training and service providers (community-based organizations and government agencies). This approach encourages different groups addressing the same problem to establish a common goal, align their efforts, pursue separate tactics, and share results. It has helped reinforce existing efforts and spark new coalitions.

What are you up for?