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Workforce Development Initiatives in Houston. October2006. Houston Business Roundtable. Non-profit Business Association. Organized in 1973 as an association of construction users to be the Owner’s voice in the construction industry.

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houston business roundtable
Houston Business Roundtable
  • Non-profit Business Association.
  • Organized in 1973 as an association of construction users to be the Owner’s voice in the construction industry.
  • The Mission of HBR is to develop, share and promote best practices that improve industry performance in areas of safety, health, environment, workforce skills, work quality, productivity and costs.
  • 26 Owner Member Companies – Including most of the major refining and petrochemical companies in the greater Houston area (including Texas City and Freeport areas)
  • 111 Subscribers – Including most of the major industrial contractors
  • Workforce focus is on Contractor Craft Labor
workforce development in houston
Workforce Development in Houston
  • Area Workload Projections
  • Future Skill Shortages
  • Workforce Development Resources in Houston
  • CMEF Training Statistics
  • Current Initiatives in Houston
  • Future Plans and Ideas
future workload expectations
Future Workload Expectations
  • HBR member company workload expected to be high for next two years
  • Golden Triangle Business Roundtable predicts the need for 20,000 additional craft persons to build Motiva and Valero refineries, LNG projects and offshore work
  • Eleven new power plant projects planned for East Texas
  • Recovery and rebuilding in hurricane impacted areas has and will continue to draw some labor from Houston
hbr key points of agreement
HBR Key Points of Agreement
  • Voluntary Agreement recommending that Owners;
    • Use Contractors that are committed to Workforce Development. Pre-qualify and audit to verify.
    • Endorse the NCCER/NCCCO skills programs.
    • Require craft persons to become qualified through formal or upgrade training, certified through written testing and performance verified in the field or lab.
    • Maintain >10% of all site craft positions for helper-trainees.
    • Include six cents per hour for all site hours in all labor contracts to support CMEF’s education and credentialing programs.
    • Apply the KPA to all Maintenance, Construction and Turnaround work.
national center for construction education and research nccer
National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • NCCERis a non-profit education foundation that develops and maintains industry driven standardized craft training programs with portable credentials.
  • 28 different Craft Curriculums and Skills Assessment tests (written) and 18 Craft Performance Verifications (demonstration of skills).
  • Houston Contractors played a major role in creating and funding NCCER and supplying Subject Matter Experts for program development.
  • Board of Trustees include representatives from several major Houston Contractors and Owner Companies, including Fluor, KBR, Zachry, ExxonMobil and Shell
  • Forty percent of all NCCER training and skills assessments have been administered in the greater Houston area.
construction maintenance education foundation cmef
Construction/MaintenanceEducation Foundation (CMEF)
  • Created by HBR and ABC more than ten years ago, replacing the former Merit Shop Trust.
  • Non-profit Education Foundation and the accredited Training Sponsor of NCCER programs in Houston.
  • Collects and distributes funding and administers formal and upgrade training and skills assessment programs.
  • Audits all programs and submits records for NCCER credentialing purposes.
current training credentialing programs
Current Training & Credentialing Programs
  • Formal NCCER training for helper-trainees is available at night at five area community colleges - Lee, San Jacinto North & Central, Houston Community and College of the Mainland.
  • Upgrade training for journey-level craft workers available at HASC or at Plant Sites large enough to justify
  • Written Skills Assessments administered at three Safety Councils - HASC, TCCSC, ISTC Baytown and at CMEF Office and on-site.
  • Performance Verifications completed at work sites with Accredited Evaluator. PV Lab at Lee College has been piloted for Electricians.
  • The goal is for all industrial craft persons to be trained and become certified-plus, i.e., pass the written Skills Assessment test and complete Performance Verification
new initiative basic training for future craft professionals
New Initiative - Basic Training for Future Craft Professionals
  • Brings new recruits into construction and maintenance and provides accelerated initial basic training, including NCCER’s core modules (including soft skills), basic safety orientation, introduction to craft specific tasks and a formal mentoring program.
  • Owners coordinate with site Contractors and commit to placing new recruits on site in a helper-trainee position expected to last one year.
  • Contractors recruit qualified candidates for specific crafts, screen and hire prior to starting training and assign experienced person to mentor new recruit on site.
  • Candidates attend two week, eight hour per day, Basic Training class and commit to continuing their craft training at a community college.
  • Mentors meet with assigned trainee and receives day of training.
  • Trainees are mentored and progress monitored for one year.
basic training for future craft professionals
Basic Training for Future Craft Professionals

Participating Contractors – Owners to Date

basic training for future craft professionals1
Basic Training for Future Craft Professionals

June Pilot Class

  • 23 of the original 27 Candidates are on the job and attending craft training classes.

August Class

  • 28 of the original 28 Candidates completed training and all but one are currently working on sites and attending craft training classes.

Future Plans

  • Class scheduled for Nov 27 – Dec 8
  • May expand to other colleges and hold classes more frequently
texas workforce commission grant
Texas Workforce Commission Grant
  • HBR and CMEF initiated a Skills Development Fund Grant through Lee College for $780,279 and was approved for 18 months starting in September
  • Grant will focus on craft training of incumbent workers and performance verification
  • Will allow CMEF some budget freedom to support other initiatives
greater houston construction careers initiative
Greater HoustonConstruction Careers Initiative
  • Joint HBR/ABC/CMEF Effort
  • Formed to address craft workforce shortage
  • Reduce duplication of effort
  • Focused on attracting people into our industry and bringing people into the existing training pipeline of CMEF/NCCER programs
construction careers initiative structure
Construction Careers InitiativeStructure
  • Construction Careers Executive Leadership Team (CCELT)
  • Construction Careers Industry Marketing Committee (CCIMC)
  • Construction Careers for Youth Committee (CCYC)
  • Each team and committee has an Owner and Contractor co-chair
construction careers initiative
Construction Careers Initiative

Some Initial Ideas:

  • Develop a centralized database of new recruits for construction and recycled workers that Contractors could access and search
  • Develop effective marketing tools and materials that will emphasize careers in construction
  • Two tiered approach for commercial & industrial
  • Targeted recruiting – relationships (family, friends, associates), returning military, college drop-outs, underemployed (food service, etc.)
  • Increase presence in area high schools
  • Increase training scholarships at community colleges
use of non english workers
Use of Non-English Workers

Survey Results (March)

  • Thirteen Owners responded and two Owners already allow non-English workers on site
  • Several companies indicated they were considering this option
  • Barriers identified – Safety procedures, training, signage, work permits, emergencies
  • No company indicated they were planning to translate site training materials, plant signs, emergency communications, work instructions or work permits.
  • The two companies that allow non-English workers require bilingual workers in crews.
  • None are currently providing ESL for Contractors.
non english workers follow up
Non-English Workers, Follow-up
  • Nine Owner companies met and most indicated they were seriously considering use of non-English workers and several have active task groups developing plans & requirements.
  • The severe shortage of skilled labor is causing more companies to consider this option.
  • Several companies indicated they were getting push-back from their safety departments. 
  • The member company that has been using non-English workers for years has applied this to all crafts but most have been soft craft workers.  One of their contractors routinely has 10 to 20% non-English workers.  They also reported that no incidents have occurred where non-English was a factor. 
  • Another member company reported they had just implemented a non-English program in July through their scaffolding contractor. They are very interested in determining if the Contractor can deliver skilled labor as promised.
  • The group has asked HBR to be a clearing house of information about this issue.  Plans are to meet again in December to check progress made.  
other initiatives and future plans
Other Initiatives and Future Plans
  • HBR sponsors an annual Excellence Award program to recognize Contractors and Owners that support and are actively involved in KPA and WD initiatives.
  • ABC/CMEF/HBR is sponsoring a Construction Exhibition and Craft Championship at Lee College on October 27. 400 high school students are scheduled to attend.
  • Solicit more TWC funding to support Basic Training classes and other training initiatives.
  • HBR/ABC/CMEF are joining a larger coalition of Houston businesses, associations and colleges to address shortage of skilled workers in refining and petrochemical industry.
other initiatives impacting workforce
Other Initiatives Impacting Workforce
  • North American Substance Abuse Program – Standardized industry program implemented in 2004 and now over 100,000 Contractor employees enrolled with 6% excluded from working at participating Owner sites due to non-negative results.
  • North American Background Screening Consortium - being developed between Houston, Baton Rouge & New Orleans with plans to implement in early 2007. Data from other programs already implemented indicate that 5 to 10% of workforce might be excluded from participating sites.