Congressman stresses importance of skilled trades

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The importance of growing the skilled trades workforce in the Greater Houston area to fill the labor shortage was discussed by U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, at the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee with the Congressman event Feb. 18.

“We need workers in [nearly]every business of every size in every community in the country,” Brady said.

In Montgomery County specifically, Brady encouraged business owners to lean on local school districts and Lone Star College system to help build the workforce with career and technical education programs.

Conroe ISD is already investing more money in its workforce programs. CISD CTE Director Gregg Shipp said there is a nationwide, statewide and local push to invest in technical and trade skills programs.

With help from partnerships with entities such as LSCS, the district offers 15 career clusters students can pursue, including health science, cosmetology, information technology and arts.

CISD’s $807 million bond package proposal—on the May 4 ballot—includes a $10.5 million investment to expand the existing CTE program at Oak Ridge High School and build a new $3.6 million agricultural and CTE facility in North Montgomery County.

“We at Conroe ISD have been evaluating our current programs to see where we can renovate and retool, and see where the growth and the greatest need will be for these programs,” Shipp said. “When you look at projected growth demand for occupations in our [local]area, medical field and medical professions continue to need qualified and certified staff.”

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Kelly Schafler
Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.
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