A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Leave a Legacy: Become a Teacher of the Skilled Trades

One of the perhaps ironic challenges discovered by Construction Citizen during the publication’s recent visit to Lee College is that because jobs in the petrochemical industry can be so lucrative, we have some trouble at times recruiting enough instructors to meet demands.

Ideal candidates for instructors are people with industry experience, but our college and others often can’t pay enough to lure them from the well-paying jobs they currently hold. My colleague Layton Childress, Dean of Applied Sciences, said "I've never seen such demand where the jobs are there and the salaries are so high.” He added that many students “don't even realize what an opportunity they have here to go to school for two years and then be set for life.”

Recruitment of instructors is a challenge for all of our partner Gulf Coast community colleges: Alvin Community College, Brazosport College, College of the Mainland, Galveston College, Houston Community College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College, and Wharton County Junior College.

It surprises some folks to learn that instructors in our classrooms do not necessarily need a four-year degree in order to leave a legacy with students who will go on to achieve success in the petrochemical industry.

The kinds of things required include industry work experience, a passion for the subject matter, and a willingness to learn new skills through targeted faculty training that we provide for new instructors. Other types of instruction require certain industry certifications, educational certificates and degrees, and participation in faculty training.

All of the colleges mentioned, including us at Lee College, need instructors to train students in trades like pipefitting, millwrighting, engineering technology, instrumentation, electrical, welding, computer maintenance, and much more.

Full-time and part-time teaching opportunities that include flexible schedules are available now at community colleges all over the Gulf Coast. To find out more, visit the Community College Petrochemical Initiative website at EnergizeHouston.org or check out the “Leave a Legacy” brochure, which you can download here