Companies look to apprenticeships to build talent pipeline

05.02.2017 | By Jeannie Peng Mansyur

The Spring Apprenticeship Forum held at the Houston-Galveston Area Council and featured panelists from industry

PASADENA, Texas – Companies and representatives from colleges, high schools and local agencies gathered recently to discuss ways to recruit and train more people for the workforce during the first Spring Apprenticeship Forum at the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

“We have a crisis in our workforce, and apprenticeships are one part of the solution,” said Nick Morgan with Adaptive Construction Solutions, which developed an apprenticeship program one year ago.

Morgan served on a panel of speakers alongside David Barron with Texas Carpenters and Millwright Training Trust, Tammy Newman with JPMorgan Chase, Michael Proctor with INEOS and Stephen Dodd with IBM. They addressed the issue of recruiting talent for the workforce shortage and how to recruit more veterans for apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships help prepare and train workers for a career in a skilled trade or craft, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. They combine supervised on-the-job training with job-related, classroom instruction. INEOS developed its apprenticeship program approximately nine years ago. Proctor said the apprenticeship group is diverse in age and taught multiple skill sets including computer skills and tested for competency on specific job skills. Barron said Texas Carpenters and Millwright Training Trust, which started its apprenticeship program four years ago, has testified before the Texas Legislature for increased support of the industry’s workforce needs. Newman said Chase’s apprenticeship began last month in partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and Houston Community College.

San Jacinto College partnered with Dow Chemical for its apprenticeship program that provides salary and tuition for training and books in petrochemical-related programs. Students study full time for the first year and fulfill their apprenticeship hours while studying part time in the second and third years.

“We want high schools and colleges to work with industry to develop these pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeship programs and allow more people to enter into the workforce pipeline and have careers that will provide them with good pay, benefits and job growth,” said Dr. Sarah Janes, associate vice chancellor of Continuing and Professional Development at San Jacinto College.

The Spring Apprenticeship Forum concluded with a panel of apprentices from INEOS and Texas Carpenters and Millwright Training Trust. The forum also served as a kickoff for National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 14-18, 2017. The Houston Area Apprenticeship Advisory Committee will host a road show for companies to share their apprenticeship opportunities with local high school students.

“We attended this forum to learn and share these opportunities with our students,” said Inga Gibbons, technical education counselor with Brazosport High School. “It’s about knowing what’s out there for them after high school. Apprenticeships are a great way to get on board with companies.”

About the Continuing and Professional Development division
This division at San Jacinto College provides continuing education and training for both current and future employees in the professional and technical job sectors, as well as provides the public with noncredit open enrollment course options to enhance their lives. Professional and technical training is available through contract training, open enrollment and grant funding. For more information, call 281-476-1838 or visit the Continuing and Professional Development division website.

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.