A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Catherine Mosbacher Summarizes the Discussion following the 2040 Scenarios Event

We have been bringing you a series of blogs on a presentation and discussion about possible scenarios of what Houston might be like 30 years from now.  We told you that after the group of community professionals from the construction and other industries had viewed two videos outlining two very different scenarios for Houston’s future, Mike Holland of Marek Brothers led a group discussion about the two scenarios.  During the discussion, the two representatives from the Center for Houston’s Future (“the Center”) who were on hand to present the scenarios took notes on whiteboards at the front of the room.

At the end of the evening, after most of the attendees had left the hall, Catherine Clark Mosbacher, President and CEO of the Center explained the notes she had taken during the discussion.  In the video below, she explained that the discussion that evening primarily focused on how the construction industry would be affected by each of the two scenarios, “Learning to Live” and “Playing to Win”.  (A brief summary of each scenario may be found in our November 3 post.)

Catherine noted that in both scenarios, there would be a need for more cooperation between the academic world and the construction industry in order to provide the skilled workforce which would be demanded by the increased needs of the city.  She stated:

“That seemed to be a real concern in the construction industry that was represented here tonight – we’ve got to have a skilled workforce.”

The idea was promoted that more students should be encouraged to enroll in vocational schools instead of “four-year” colleges.  It was suggested that those already in the construction industry should take a more active roll in telling the next generation about the positive aspects of a career in the trades.  One person suggested that construction professionals should share their personal success stories with those who might consider following  in their footsteps.  Catherine concurred:

“This is a story that needs to be told to encourage people to get involved in the trades and the crafts that are available that can provide a livelihood, and again, provide that skilled workforce that we will need in either one of these scenarios.”

She mentioned the suggestion that just as other industries offer challenges for students such as robotics competitions or Shell’s Eco-marathon, perhaps the construction industry could develop some type of competition to promote the crafts and move more students to consider careers in construction.

Catherine concluded her remarks with the following statement:

“Without a doubt, education is a key issue.  The need for a skilled workforce is a key issue, and the need to work closely together, in collaboration – the academic world with industry – to solve this problem.”

Watch her entire summary of the group discussion in the following five minute video.

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