Houston needs more workers for high-paying 'middle-skilled' jobs

The Greater Houston Partnership says there's a lack of a "middle-skilled" workforce in the area, and they say it's only getting worse as baby boomers retire.

There are tons of jobs that pay as much as $90,000. They also don't require a college degree.

But there's not enough people to fill them.

The Greater Houston Partnership says there's a lack of a "middle-skilled" workforce in the area, and they say it's only getting worse as baby boomers retire.

According to the partnership, 40 percent of people working in Houston right now have jobs that require technical training. The jobs in fields like energy, healthcare, maritime, construction and automotive.

In fact, automotive industry experts say there's never been a greater demand for trained technicians.

"We don't look at our technicians anymore as mechanics. They are experts at what they do. There's a lot of technology that's involved," said Nick Butuc, center operator for BMW of Houston North.

In fact, this dealership says more than 50 percent of its workforce is trained at nearby Universal Technical Institute or UTI

"It's not just nuts, bolts and wrenches," said Chris Jones, service director at the dealership. "Ever more so it's become a high tech industry."

Victor Sanchez and Louis Stumpf are foremen here and make sure the shop runs smoothly. Both of them were trained at UTI

"This isn't your grandfather's gas station type of garage," Sanchez said. "We've come a long way. The industry has come a long way."

Both have grown at the company as well. Sanchez has been here for more than nine years. Stumpf has been here 27 years.

"It's always a challenge. There's never a dull moment," Stumpf said. "It's basically provided me and my family with a very comfortable living if I could say. It's a steady job."

Sanchez began his career as a valet at a different dealership.

'If you do something you like, you never work a day in your life," he said. "I love what I do. I'm very passionate about what I do."

The Greater Houston Partnership says it's working to increase those trained in technical skills. They say by 2024, nearly 60 percent of all jobs in Houston will require training beyond high school.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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