Posted on September 13, 2017
By: Wesley Burnett
Factors that Pump the Numbers
Odessa has been the hub for oil industry growth for nearly a century. However, following the establishment and rise of Odessa College and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, young people were drawn to Odessa to gain education and experience in every area of the economy. Odessa remains a well-equipped and opportune location in the Permian Basin to train for and gain a career. As a result, Odessa is becoming a strong economic community of young professionals, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.
Odessa has the resources to train its citizens for careers in medicine, manufacturing, agriculture, and more. Odessa’s public schools have received distinction from leaders in the Texas academic and business communities for having demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations.
“This is an exciting time for ECISD and Odessa College” Tom Crowe, ECISD Superintendent
Odessa College’s Early College High School (ECHS) program gives students the opportunity to graduate from high school not only with their GED, but also with a two-year Associates degree. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s Falcon ECHS allows students to earn up to 60 college credit hours by the time they graduate from high school. These dual-credit classes are offered at no-cost to the students and their parents. UTPB also offers a STEM Academy program. STEM is an innovative public, open-enrollment charter school currently located on the campus in Odessa.
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa College, and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center also offer two and four year programs in nursing, medicine, and vocational training, to prepare students for gainful employment in Odessa’s state-of-the-art medical and manufacturing facilities. Five thousand five hundred and seventy-eight students are currently enrolled in Odessa College’s career, technology, workforce & transfer programs – this represents a 20% increase in enrollment over the past 10 years. U.T. Permian Basin’s enrollment is now more than 3,400 for the first time in University history, attracting students from over 31 countries, 31 states and 183 Texas counties.
The city of Odessa holds multiple vocational training centers and an endlessly open job market, which makes its workforce an invariable commodity. This means businesses who relocate to Odessa face significantly fewer hiring challenges than they might in other cities.
A Growing Workforce
Odessa is strengthened by one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States at 4.2%, as well as some of the highest wages in the country for skilled workers. While population and community growth moves upward, unemployment numbers are slowly shrinking in Odessa. The community experiences frequent additions of new businesses, world class facilities, and vocational training programs in association with those businesses to thank for this.
The Odessa community is the Odessa Development Corporation’s biggest aid in achieving its goal of creating an expanded and thriving economy.
What Does This Mean for Odessa?
Odessa’s future and the prospects for its economy are brighter than ever. Employers and companies looking to relocate to Odessa can count on a present and educated workforce. Odessa’s educational facilities will continue to expand, and Odessa will benefit from a labor force that is ready and able to keep the economy moving.