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One of the greatest barriers to family financial stability is obtaining a well-paying job with benefits and opportunities for advancement. For many, the path to a successful career is unclear. In the Houston area, workforce development is a complicated field with many stakeholders and multiple systems for providing training and services. These systems, including Workforce Solutions offices, community colleges, community-based nonprofit organizations, and the business sector can be disconnected, uncoordinated, or difficult to access at times. This can create barriers for hard-working ALICE families.


We are committed to helping remove barriers that keep people from a promising, self-sustaining career.

  • Workforce Development Workgroup

    The Workforce Development Workgroup seeks to align and improve workforce services in nonprofits by investing in meaningful partnerships with industry, education, and workforce organizations. We seek to meet the current and emerging needs of our businesses and local communities so all can thrive in our growing economy. The Workgroup is a regional collaborative led by United Way of Greater Houston, Upskill Houston, and the Gulf Coast Workforce board.

    We convene workforce experts to share insights from multiple perspectives with the overarching goal of sharing information about local initiatives and opportunities to engage in them, standardizing services, and encouraging collaboration to leverage resources across the network.

    Meetings are held on a quarterly basis. For more information, please contact Schirell Sidney, Senior Manager, Community Investments at

  • Workforce Coaching Network

    United Way THRIVE has proven that families are able to achieve financial stability when they receive bundled services to help increase income, build savings, and acquire assets. An important goal for the Workforce Development Workgroup has been to support workforce coaches in acquiring skills and resources to more effectively assist clients in reaching their employment goals.

    Led by United Way THRIVE, the Workforce Coaching Network increases the capacity and quality of workforce coaching services across the Greater Houston region. The Network provides a layered approach of in-person training, peer support, technical assistance, and virtual support. This coordinated approach streamlines workforce coaching services and improves service delivery throughout the system.

  • Opportunity Youth Health Care Employment Pathways

    With generous support from JP Morgan Chase, United Way of Greater Houston is leading a collaborative process to connect opportunity youth to careers in the health care sector.

    Participating United Way THRIVE partners recruit young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from education or employment to enroll in training programs and participate in special hiring events with Memorial Hermann Health System where participants are interviewed and can receive job offers on the spot. Participants then proceed to further training programs, either in-house at Memorial Hermann or with their sponsoring THRIVE partner organizations, after which they proceed to entry-level positions with growth potential and competitive salaries at Memorial Hermann sites across the Houston area.

    Selected Positions:

    Patient Access Representative
    Patient Care Assistant
    Telemetry Monitoring Technician
    Sterile Processing Technician

    To explore THRIVE partners’ training programs associated with this program, please visit this page on BridgeYear’s site.

  • Houston Back on Track

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 214,000 Houstonians lost their jobs. They now find themselves navigating a post-pandemic economy requiring better skills and the uncertainty of growing inflation and a softening economy.

    Houston Back on Track is an employer-led job recovery initiative developed by the Greater Houston Partnership and Boston Consulting Group with a mission to help Houstonians affected by the pandemic and the current economic climate get back into the workforce, typically within the customer service, energy, medical, and transportation industries. United Way THRIVE supports this initiative which brings together community and education organizations and area employers to provide access to short-term training, certification programs, and career coaching, offering job seekers the confidence and tools to find a new, rewarding career.

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