On 8/24/2021, Dr. Christina Robinson, Executive Director of Adult Education for the Houston Community College, spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club (using Zoom) about the programs she has set up to support young people wanting to start a career in a blue collar field without getting a standard 4 year college degree. Pictured above is Dr. Christina Robinson.
Dr. Christina Robinson currently serves as the Executive Director of Adult Education and Literacy Programs for the Houston Community College (HCC) System, where she oversees one of the largest grant-funded adult education and integrated workforce programs in the state of Texas with over $5 million in grant funding. Dr. Robinson spearheaded the creation of the "Change Your Life for $20" program and Career4U Academy. An accomplished leader and champion of higher learning, she has been recognized for her leadership both locally and nationally. Dr. Robinson has been honored as the top 30 Most Influential Women in Houston and Top Ten Most Influential Women by Houston Woman magazine. Robinson serves on the City of Houston Advisory Board for (MOAL) The Mayor's Office of Adult Literacy.
Dr, Robinson first told everyone that the MSA (Managed Service Area) for HCC has the following characteristics:
  • From June 2020 to June 2021, the number of "Not Seasonally Adjusted" total non-farm employment change was an increase of 101,400.
  • From March 2020 to March 2021, there was an increase in business establishments of 5,452 businesses. There was also a decrease in other businesses establishments of 1,148.
  • The recovery rate of jobs lost due to Covid-19 as of June 2021 is between 55% and 60%.
  • The increase in jobs necessary to get back to where we were prior to Covid-19 (February 2020 levels) will most likely not happen until 2023-2024.
Dr. Robinson then talked about the "Career4U Academy" she launched in 2018 and the five clusters of business types it helps with:
  • Business Tech
  • Construction Management
  • IT
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
It only costs $20 for a student to sign up for the "Career4U Academy". The rest of the tuition is paid for by partners and Texas Government. The approach HCC has taken is to partner with Gallery Furniture and Work Texas. These partners find and enroll the unemployed community members and connect them to:
  • Support services
  • Job readiness training
  • Financial coaching
  • Employment placement & retention services
Dr. Robinson spoke about the different schools, what they teach and the certification certificates they provide upon completion of a course. Also, many of the training sessions can be done online using Zoom. The Zoom Lobby can be reached at "https://www.hccs.edu/programs/adult-education/".
Dr. Robinson then answered a number of questions from the group before signing off.