Partnership Creating Pathways toward Maritime Careers
By Mike Emery
Houston is a hub for maritime careers. As home to one of the world’s largest ports, the city’s job outlook in water transportation, logistics and supply chain management is on the rise. With industry growth, however, comes the need for education, training, and workforce development.
At 10 a.m., Jan. 31, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), Houston Community College (HCC), Houston Independent School District (HISD) and the Port of Houston Authority will commit to a partnership to prepare students for careers in maritime logistics and global supply chain management.
Representatives from these institutions will sign a Letter of Intent that outlines a career pathway for students that begins in high school, extends to higher education institutions, and ultimately, leads to potential maritime jobs. The signing event will take place in the University of Houston-Downtown’s Welcome Center (201 Girard St.).
The letter will detail each organization’s commitment to a program in which HISD students can earn college credits in maritime logistics and global supply chain management. They would then apply those credits to an Applied Arts & Science degree in logistics or global supply chain management at HCC and transfer to UHD’s Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science in Applied Administration program (ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report).
Before putting their pens to paper, leaders from UHD, HCC, HISD and the Port of Houston will deliver remarks addressing the significance of this partnership. Those scheduled to sign the document are as follows: Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz, UHD President; Janiece M. Longoria, chair of the Port of Houston Authority Commission; Dr. Janet Wormack, HCC vice chancellor of finance and administration; and Dr. Rick Cruz, chief strategy and innovation officer for HISD.
Other scheduled attendees will include Dr. Scott Marzilli, dean of UHD’s University College; Dr. Charles E. Gengler, dean of UHD's Marilyn Davies College of Business; Dr. Melissa Gonzales, president of HCC – Southeast; Gilda Ramirez, senior director of Small Business and Education Outreach at the Port of Houston Authority; and Dr. Connie Porter, dean of HCC’s Center of Excellence in Business; and Michael Love, assistant superintendent of Career Readiness.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.