Lone Star College Prepares Energy Students to Meet Industry Needs
Because of the technical nature of – and the specialization inherent in – many energy-sector jobs, energy companies are looking for candidates who have industry-related experience, or who have acquired skills that are transferable to the industry. However, most oil and gas companies lack the in-house training programs and facilities necessary to quickly turn recruits into safe and productive employees. To address the energy industry need for a pipeline of potential workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to fill new job openings, the Lone Star College System in Houston has added an Energy Technology workforce training program to its plethora of existing program offerings.
Lone Star College offers a variety of options to better provide the flexibility needed to meet student demands. Students may opt for an associate degree and then move into their careers or complete their education at a four-year university. Some may wish to continue in college and pursue their master’s degree, options which are also available at Lone Star.
A Focus on Energy
The Energy Technology program is offered within the Energy and Manufacturing Institute (EMI), which is an 80,000 square-foot, two-story, state-of-the-art training facility located about 20 miles north of Houston’s central business district on the Lone Star College University Park Campus.
The energy sector worked in collaboration with Lone Star on the kind of training most needed within the industry. As many job seekers have learned, finding a job opening in the energy sector is not enough to turn an applicant into an employee.
The EMI is a member of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, the National Association for Manufacturers, the Houston Energy Collaborative and the Greater Houston Partnership. It works in partnership with the six local Lone Star College campuses, and with the Lone Star Corporate College. The latter is a collaboration between the school and corporations around the world. The goals of this joint effort between academia and industry are to provide specific, customized training, to offer open enrollment courses, and to conduct professional seminars.
Because of the technical nature of several Lone Star College programs, special emphasis is given to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This focus on the skills necessary for many professional jobs in the local community has played a role in the robust growth of Lone Star College.
“Lone Star College is one of the fastest growing community college in the nation,” Linda Head, associate vice chancellor at the Workforce Development and Corporate College, told Rigzone. “There are 78,000 total credit enrollees, and a total enrollment of 90,000,” making the college the largest institution of higher learning in the Houston area.”
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