COH, HCC partner to train employees on resiliency, preparedness
Chancellor Maldonado and Mayor Turner signed the memorandum of understanding during the event.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado announced a partnership to train city employees in resiliency and preparedness at HCC campuses.

The school will offer public safety training in areas that include nursing, respiratory care and firefighter training.

It’s been five years since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, and local leaders discussed lessons learned from Harvey during a symposium called Embracing Resiliency: Protecting Houston’s Future.

The symposium was held in conference room at Amegy Tower West Loop, which had opened just months before the storm hit. Amegy Bank’s president, Laif Afseth opened the event by pointing out how the front half of the conference room had been turned into a make-shift daycare center for displaced families.

“The back part of the room was a call center to contact employees across the state of Texas to see how they were doing,” he said. “Over 400 of our 2,000 employees were severely impacted…over 75 lost their homes.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, Harvey is considered the second costliest storm in US history, after Hurricane Katrina, causing an estimated $125 billion dollars in damages. The historical impacts the storm had on Houston has inspired countless conversations on response and recovery.

Mayor Turner announced the city’s partnership with HCC calling it a powerful example of a partnership that will move Houston forward.

“The explicit goal in the Houston Resiliency Plan is to train 500,000 of our citizens and our employees to be better prepared, more informed and certified in specific areas of resilience and sustainability,” Turner said.

“We have all of the assets that make our city run, how about we bring all of those together to not only assist in with preparedness but make our communities better connected,” Maldonado said.

The first resiliency cohort is set to start this fall.