Patrick Jankowski, vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership, was the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Harris County Mayors' & Councils' Association on Thursday.
Baytown City Council Member Terry Sain, who is president of the association, welcomed the elected officials and called on Bellaire Mayor Dr. Phil Nauert, who is vice president of the HCMCA, to introduce Jankowski. Listen
Jankowski reviewed the structure of the GHP and explained its advocacy for the 10-county region.
“We have 2,000 members in the Partnership,” Jankowski said. “We have some big guns like Shell Oil and J.P. Morgan; plus we have some smaller firms like Universe Technical Translation and Café Adobe.”
Jankowski quoted his first boss in the organization, former Houston mayor Louie Welch and past president of the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce which is now the Partnership, as defining the mission of the organization.
“He said the work of the Chamber, now the Partnership, is to make the region a better place to live, work and do business,” Jankowski recalled.
Jankowski said the outlook for the future of the region is good, especially since its rapid recovery from the recession.
“We’ve gotten back every job that we lost in the recession,” he said. “Employment is higher now in our 10-county region than it has ever been before.”
Sain talked about the expansion of the petrochemical industry and the need for skilled workers. He urged the elected officials to encourage young people to take engineering courses in college. Listen
Deer Park Council Member Beckie Stockstill-Cobb, who is past president of the association, agreed with Sain on the need for skilled workers, but said that many jobs in need of applicants do not require a four year education. Listen
“We have a desperate need for pipefitters; we need welders,” she said. “We need young men or women that will sweat.”
The meeting was at Hotel Za Za. The October meeting will be at Monument Inn in La Porte.