The city of Houston spent a great deal of time in the headlines last year after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the Texas metropolis. As the record flooding receded, we watched the community’s incredible resilience in the face of devastation, coining the phrase “Houston strong”.
Houston has a lot of bragging rights—with its World Series winning Astros, robust economy, and NASA Mission Control Center. It is estimated that this South Texas city attracts more than 7 million visitors per year. But the strength of the city lies in its residents—all 2.2 million of them.
Houston is not only the most populous city, but also the “most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U.S.”—surpassing even New York City and Los Angeles. Research shows that 1 out of every 4 Houston residents is foreign-born.
Since the 1970s, more than 70,000 refugees from 78 countries have resettled there starting with an influx of South Vietnamese at the end of the Vietnam war. Now, Harris County takes in approximately 30 of every 1,000 refugees resettled by the U.N. It is said that “if Houston were a country, it would rank 4th in the world for refugee resettlement”.
So what is it about the city that makes it an ideal destination for those escaping war, persecution and natural disasters worldwide? The answer, again, lies it its people. “Texas is the friendliest place you could ever live,” explains Abby Davis, Amplio Dallas managing director. “It’s jam-packed with the most warm-spirited people who want to help.”
It is also home to five refugee resettlement agencies that receive federal funding to provide services to the growing refugee community. While limited funds strap these agencies to providing a mere 3-6 months assistance to new arrivals, local nonprofit and religious organizations step in to fill that gap. PAIR, Amaanah, and many more go above and beyond to meet practical needs from food to English classes and everywhere in between to help refugees acclimate and work their way to becoming self-sustaining citizens.
Proper employment is a crucial key to this process—and Houston’s growing job market provides ample opportunity for those looking for work. Though it experienced a brief setback following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, current projections anticipate the addition of as many as 70,000 jobs in 2018—a 2% increase. This growth depends heavily on the continued health of the oil industry, but even minimal projections expect a modest increase of 42,000 jobs.
If anything, it is feared that labor shortages could most hinder these “energy-boom” projects. Needs include construction, welders, electricians, instrumentation technicians, fabricators and pipe-fitters—all trades skills which are experiencing nationwide shortages. At Amplio, we hope to evade this problem by introducing Houston companies to a vast, but mostly untapped labor pool—the refugee workforce.
As of January 2018, we are excited to announce our expansion into the Houston job market. Dirk and Raquel Cameron, newly-named managing directors, are excited to bring their knowledge, passions and experience to help fill needs in the growing market.
At Amplio, we take pride in providing top notch employees to companies across the U.S., specializing in construction staffing, manufacturing staffing and hospitality staffing. If you’re a Houston business owner or manager looking for socially responsible and sustainable labor shortage solutions, we would love to introduce you to the talented and dependable refugee workforce.
Visit our website or contact Dirk and Raquel to learn more about the practical, financial, and economic benefits of hiring refugees to fill your labor shortage needs today.