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New Houston Workforce Center Aims to Reduce Skilled Labor Shortage

Increased demand after Harvey has led to an even higher shortage of middle-skilled workers.

The new Workforce Opportunity Center, run by workforce service provider SER, is on Houston's East End, near the Gulf Freeway.

For the ribbon-cutting on Tuesday morning, some of the officials present included Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, and the city of Houston's housing director, Tom McCasland.

The facility connects employers and employees and offers job training in multiple fields, SER CEO Sheroo Mukhtiar said.

"We have programs in welding, fork lifting, commercial driver's license, banking," she said. "All of those industries that we can train and get them ready for the real job in the community."

The service is free and aimed at low-income and minority residents.

The center was built with government and private funding and comes at a time when more organizations are working to close the skilled labor gap.

Most recently, the Associated General Contractors of America sounded the alarm about the issue. And the Greater Houston Partnership has a program dedicated to it.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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