Lone Star College remains at forefront of preparing the workforce of tomorrow
The demand for middle-skill jobs in the greater Houston area will continue to grow – the Port of Houston alone is expected to see a 15% increase in incoming cargo by 2020, which will impact related jobs. Some of that growth can be attributed to the $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, among other initiatives.
LSC offers state of the art technology centers to train students for tomorrow’s jobs today.
According to a national report by Georgetown University, 65% of all jobs will require training other than high school by 2020.
“ExxonMobil knows firsthand the need for a new generation of young people who can come into our industry with a mastery of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Woody Paul, ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins plant manager.
Looking to the future, LSC is constructing a number of advanced technology centers to help prepare tomorrow’s workforce to assist these industries in keeping up with demand. In November 2014, LSC voters overwhelmingly approved the $485 million LSC bond referendum that included these new centers, along with upgrades to a number of existing facilities.
LSC-University Park recently broke ground on a 50,000 square-foot Science and Innovation Center.
Plans are underway at LSC-Kingwood for a new LSC-Process Technology Center which will be used to train students for careers in manufacturing, power generation and water treatment. Industries involved in chemical processing, from extracting and refining fuels to producing products using chemicals, use process technology to control their systems And despite the recent drop in oil prices, the “downstream” portion of the oil and gas industry, which includes petrochemical plants and refineries, is doing well because of the less expensive supply of crude oil.
The LSC-Process Technology Center will be located in Generation Park, a 4,000-acre mixed use master-planned enterprise park in northeast Houston at Beltway 8. The center is expected to be open by fall 2017.
LSC is developing the LSC-Westway Park Technology Center, located at 5060 Westway Park Boulevard off Beltway 8 near Tanner and Clay roads. This LSC-CyFair center will include expanded programs in both credit and FastTrack non-credit in computer applications, integrated technology, networking, computer engineering, visual communications and more.
The center plans include high-level computing infrastructure and will house computer labs and Cisco Networking high-end labs. The center is also included in Phase 1 of the LSC bond projects and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2017.
Other advanced training facilities being developed by Lone Star College include:
- LSC-Construction & Skilled Trades Technology Workforce Center
- LSC-Transportation & Logistics Technology Center
Both centers are planned for LSC-North Harris.
LSC recently began offering new workforce training certificates in the construction industry in welding, ironworking, pipefitting and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) – these programs will also be cornerstone programs of the new LSC-Construction & Skilled Trades Technology Workforce Center.
The certificates offered are endorsed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), which is recognized as the key training, assessment, certification and career development credentialing standard for the construction and maintenance craft professions.
The LSC-Transportation & Logistics Technology Center, also planned for LSC-North Harris, will help fill the growing need for truck drivers and trained logistic personnel. The center will allow for additional FastTrack training for students interested in becoming a professional truck driver, along with logistics management training preparing graduates for careers in supply chain management, inventory control, materials management and distribution.
The LSC-Workforce Certification Assessment Center at LSC-University Park is a build-out of current space at LSC-University Park that will provide even greater service to students who are exploring a variety of career paths. Construction on this center is slated to begin by 2017.
LSC-University Park recently broke ground on a 50,000 square-foot Science and Innovation Center. This state of the art facility will house 12 labs, a three story, indoor, 3-D geology teaching wall and a learning commons area. The center is expected to open fall 2017.
In addition to the Career Training Centers of Excellence that were part of the bond program approved by LSC voters, LSC also has two additional academic and workforce centers, with one that came online this spring.
LSC-Creekside Center opened its doors for classes in January under the direction of LSC-Tomball, becoming the eighth LSC satellite center.
LSC-Creekside Center opened its doors for classes in January under the direction of LSC-Tomball, becoming the eighth LSC satellite center. The 85,000-square-foot facility, located on 15 acres at Kuykendahl Road and West New Harmony Trail, offers classrooms and lecture halls for approximately 3,500 students.
“This new center provides white-collar workforce education as well as academic transfer courses,” said Dr. Lee Ann Nutt, president, LSC-Tomball. “We will also be able to provide access to a multi-purpose room which can be used by the community.”
LSC-Creekside Center offers certification and associate degree programs including e-commerce marketing, petroleum data technology, accounting, and business marketing and management.
The center serves residents on the south side of The Woodlands, which has experienced major growth, due in part to the new ExxonMobil headquarters in the nearby Springwoods Village Development.
The LSC-East Aldine Center is also scheduled to go online for LSC-North Harris in spring 2018 to bring affordable and easily accessible higher education to that community as well.
Profile: Process Technology
The new LSC-Process Technology Center will located at Generation Park in northeast Houston.
Process operators continue to be in high demand.
With the drop in oil prices, chemical and refining plants and facilities are doing well because of the low cost of crude oil supply and creating an even greater need for workers with process technology skills.
To help keep up with the need in this industry and others, Lone Star College is introducing a new Process Technology program set to open in January 2017 at LSC-Kingwood.
“We are very excited to be able to offer this program to our students,” said Maribeth Stitt, LSC-Kingwood dean of Business, Technology, Communication and Languages. “The program will prepare graduates for entry-level careers as process technologists/operators in the petrochemical, plastics, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries.
A LSC-Process Technology Center is currently being constructed in Generation Park a 4,000-acre mixed use master-planned enterprise park in northeast Houston at Beltway 8, which will offer students state-of-the-art simulation equipment, as well as hands-on applied technology to develop the skills required to be successful process technologists/operators. Students will be able to begin their studies at the LSC-Atascocita Center before moving to its permanent facility in August 2017.
LSC-Kingwood recently hosted a national Process Troubleshooting Skills in Energy Grant Competition. By interacting with process technology programs at two-year and four-year colleges, students from all over the country used their knowledge and skills in a four-round competition to determine which team had the best troubleshooting skills that are very important to a process operator.
“Students interested in becoming a Process Technician must be detail oriented with a desire to work in a technical field that requires that ability to work with equipment that runs a chemical plant,” said Stitt. “Critical thinking to understand why processes or equipment do not work correctly and analytical skills to figure out how to change systems to work effectively are also important.”
Visit LoneStar.edu/Process-Technology-Certificate to learn more about how you can join this growing field.