City of Houston, Houston Community College sign agreement to train 500,000 citizens, employees in disaster resiliency and sustainability

Aug 26, 2022

Chancellor Maldonado and Mayor Turner signed the memorandum of understanding during the Embracing Resiliency Symposium recognizing the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. 


On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Community College (HCC) Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E., signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will address one of the City's significant goals - to train 500,000 citizens, employees, small businesses, volunteers, and first responders in new resiliency training programs starting in the Fall 2022.

The agreement was signed Tuesday morning before 175 business, civic, community, education, and government leaders attending the "Embracing Resiliency Symposium" hosted by the Resilience Innovation Hub, Amegy Bank, and the College. 

“Today, on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, I am pleased to announce the City of Houston’s partnership with Houston Community College’s new Resilience Center of Excellence and the Operations Training Facility and all the many ways we will collectively pave the path for a stronger and more prepared citizens, workforce, and community and a more resilient future,” Mayor Turner said.

“Five years back, as we faced the wrath and impacts of Hurricane Harvey, it was a moment of reckoning for us as a city. It spurred us to think more cohesively about response and recovery; and most importantly, it urged us to think about building forward from recovery, from response towards resilience." Joining the Mayor in the announcement were City Council Members Sallie Alcorn and David Robinson, Chief Resiliency and Sustainability Officer Priya Zachariah, and other senior executives from federal, state, county, and municipal governments.

The agreement opens the door for all aspects of the city’s focus on citizens and employer resilience and connects the College with departments and programs of the city that seek resilience and preparedness for its employees as well as neighborhood and community organizations.

Beginning this fall, HCC will upskill public and private sector employees across seven resiliency courses: Resiliency 101 + Community Emergency Response Training (CERT); Disaster Case Management; Facilities and Infrastructure; Disaster Recovery; Drones, Data Science, and Internet of Things; Public Safety and Rescue; and Medical Triage.

The courses will support strengthening skills in Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Compliance, Project Management, Team Building and Communications. An additional 30 courses and programs will follow in 2023.

“As Mayor Turner recently stated, the lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey and subsequent disasters have identified one common take-away: When we work together as a team, Greater Houston is always resilient,” Dr. Maldonado said. “In light of this observation, we must remain vigilant so these disasters will not continue to harm our families, our neighborhoods, our companies, our facilities and the community-at-large. The HCC Resiliency Center of Excellence and Operations Training Facility will contribute to addressing preparedness and long-term mitigation from future floods, storms, snow and ice, pandemics and other challenges that have cost the region in the loss of lives, community, operations, and economic competitiveness.” 

See more photos from the event.

Additional Announcement Video Content Sources:

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