HCC opens registration for courses to help businesses mitigate impact of hurricanes, other catastrophic events

Aug 4, 2022

Houston Community College has opened registration for inaugural courses designed to help businesses mitigate the impact of hurricanes, other catastrophic weather events and unexpected disasters, part of the college’s new Resiliency Center of Excellence.

With instruction led by the region’s leading minds in business continuity, project management, regulatory compliance and other related topics, HCC’s Resiliency courses will examine issues critical to an organization’s ability to prepare for and swiftly return to normal business operations after a disaster.

“Anyone involved in protecting the health and safety of places and people can benefit from these courses,” said Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E. “It’s really about aligning public safety, disaster mitigation and workforce needs.”

Courses will focus on navigating supply chain challenges and coordinating preparedness and response partnerships. They also will address issues in construction, facilities, local infrastructure, communications, information and disaster case management.

Other courses will cover topics such as assessing risks, investments in preparedness, leveraging local and regional programs, and supporting neighbors and the community.

A full-course curricula and more information is available by emailing hccs.edu/cctrain@hccs.edu.

Before developing an organization’s customized course curricula, college representatives will conduct an assessment with the client’s internal stakeholders to develop content specifically aligned with a company’s goals and objectives.

HCC representatives also will create a course schedule that best suits the business, including evening hours and during overnight shifts. Sessions are generally conducted in four-hour increments but can be delivered in varying increments depending on the organization’s needs.

Classes can be presented at the client’s site or at any Houston Community College campus. Virtual and hybrid classes are available.

Some courses are federally funded and at no cost to a business. Funding also is available for eligible companies through HCC’s partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission.

“A disaster impacts the workforce in very different ways because people are displaced,” said Peter Beard, senior vice president for regional workforce development at the Greater Houston Partnership. “Employers need personnel to support what takes place during a disaster and access to a skilled workforce after a disaster strikes.”

Five years in the making with input from first responders, government agencies and business leaders, the college’s Resiliency Center of Excellence is designed to reduce casualties, property damage and economic loss caused by floods, tornados, snow and ice, spills and fires, power grid failures and other disasters.

According to the Harris County Flood Control District, a major flood occurs somewhere in the county every two years.

“Developing a resilient workforce is part of our role as Houston’s community college,” Maldonado added.

In addition to courses for large and small employers, HCC’s new Resiliency Center of Excellence ultimately will include a $30-million Resiliency Operations Center.

The five-acre training and simulation complex planned for the college’s Northeast Campus will allow first responders to train in simulations of flooded residential streets with floating debris, downed power lines and submerged vehicles, a streetscape with mock training buildings, swift water rescue channel, and a lake with shallow and deep-water areas. Plans call for the center to operate year-round regardless of weather to replicate as many scenarios as possible.

Groundbreaking for the center is slated for spring 2023 with build-out estimated at 18-22 months.

For more information, contact the HCC Corporate College at (713) 718-5304.

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