Houston Third in U.S. on Young Professionals Best Cities List

Homes.com and ForRentUniversity.com compiled a list of the 10 most desirable cities in the United States for young professionals just starting out in the workforce.

Houston ranks third on the list, primarily because of the city’s entry-level income of $41,000, which is one of the highest in the nation. Houston not only is home to 24 Fortune 500 companies, but it also has a 5.7 percent unemployment rate.

Houston accommodations for young professionals also was a factor in determining the 10 cities on the list. A median one-bedroom apartment costs $800 in the Bayou City, compared to $1,600 in Washington, D.C. which rounded out the ten cities on the list.

In addition, proximity to postgraduate institutions, social opportunities and the population between the ages of 25 and 34 were criteria used to determine the rankings.

LSCS SBDC Advisory Council Accepting Nominations for Small Business Awards

This year’s 28th annual Small Business of the Year awards seek to recognize successful small businesses that have made an impact on the local community and economy.

Each year, members of the Lone Star College System (LSCS) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisory Council choose the recipients based on nominations collected from the community. The winning business owners are evaluated on leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, business growth and success, and contributions to the community. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 1, and they can be made by individuals, businesses or organizations.

Three finalists will be chosen from each of the six campus service areas that comprise the LSCS. All 18 finalists will be honored at the banquet held in November where six winners, one from each campus area, will be announced.

Nominations can be made by sending this form to:

SBDC Advisory Council

5000 Research Forest Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77381

The nomination also can be faxed to (832) 813-6208 or emailed to SBDC@LoneStar.edu  .

Each nominee will receive a letter identifying the nominator with instructions on how to proceed to the application phase.

Before submitting any nominations, please review the following information.

Who qualifies as a nominee?

  • Must qualify as a small business by the Small Business Administration. A small business is defined as a company, organized for profit, with a location in the United States, and/or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes, use of American products and materials or labor. The company must employ 500 people or less.
  • Must have completed three successful and consecutive years in business
  • Franchises and franchisors may be nominated if all criteria in these guidelines are met
  • Branches/divisions of larger corporations will not be considered as a nominee.
  • Nominee’s business must be located in one of the six Lone Star College System service areas: Kingwood, North Harris, Tomball, Montgomery, CyFair and University Park.

Applications will be evaluated and rated in accordance with the following:

  1. Business information (40%)
  2. Community activities (35%)
  3. References (15%)
  4. Closing statement (10%)

Data Foundry Breaks Ground on Data Center in Greenspoint

The newest data center in Greenspoint, Data Foundry’s Houston 2, will be ready for use in Q1 2015. Data Foundry held their groundbreaking ceremonies Apr. 10 for the new facility situated on 18 acres at 660 Greens Parkway. Distinguished speakers included Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Welcome Wilson Sr., chairman of the GSL Welcome Group; and Fred Welch, vice president of regional development with the Greater Houston Partnership.

Houston 2 data center will be a 350,000-square-foot purpose-built data center fit with 60 megawatts of power capacity. This is an increase over the initial announcement of a 250,000 square-foot facility with 50 megawatts of power. Corgan Associates designed the new data center and kW Engineering is providing engineering services for the project. Holder Construction Company is building the facility.

The data center is designed with many features to protect customers’ data from weather-related situations. The building will be able to withstand winds up to 185 miles per hour and will be topped with an enhanced roof that will be compliant with wind uplift and hail damage resistance requirements. In addition, the new data center location is outside the 500-year floodplain and far enough from the coast to mitigate the threat of hurricanes.

The facility will be built with fault tolerant and concurrently manageable design across the infrastructure, featuring entirely underground electrical utility feeds and a chilled water cooling system supporting HPC/high density heat loads up to 50 kilowatts per rack. Safety also is a major feature of the new construction. The foundation is elevated three feet from street level and the building will be constructed with a three-foot depressed slab construction with no ramps or steps anywhere in the data center.

Houston 2 will offer carrier neutral network access to more than 10 on-net fiber carriers and feature around-the-clock, 365-days-a-year Network Operations Center and remote hands support. The flexible design of the center will support customers from a single cabinet up to multi-megawatt usage. Houston 2 will have 60,000 square feet of dedicated office space for disaster recovery or other onsite needs for their mission critical personnel.

About Data Foundry 

Data Foundry provides comprehensive wholesale and retail data center outsourcing, colocation, and disaster recovery services. The company provides its customers with secure premium facilities for servers and equipment, emergency workspace and carrier-neutral network accessibility, supported by experienced onsite technicians and customer support 24/7/365. The company supports more than 1,000 enterprise customers across a variety of industries including energy, healthcare and financial services. Founded in 1994, Data Foundry was the first Internet Service Provider in San Antonio and one of the first 50 Internet Service Providers in the United States. Today, Data Foundry operates data centers in Austin and Houston and owns private networks in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

Lone Star College System Names Dr. Steve Head as Sole Finalist for Chancellor

The Lone Star College System (LSCS) Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to name Dr. Steve Head as the next chancellor of LSCS. The announcement was made as part of a special board meeting that took place at the system office June 10.

Lone Star College also issued the following press release detailing the process for selecting the new chancellor as well as more information about Dr. Head.

Lone Star College System names Dr. Steve Head as sole finalist for chancellor

HOUSTON (June 10, 2014) – The Lone Star College System Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to name Dr. Steve Head as the next chancellor of LSCS.

The announcement was made as part of a special board meeting that took place at the system office June 10. According to the board, Dr. Head was also the first choice of the selection committee.

Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period before a formal vote can be made to approve Dr. Head as chancellor. Board members will take a public vote at a date and time to be announced later in the board room of the Lone Star College Training and Development Center, 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX  77381.

“Lone Star College is poised for great things and Steve Head has the credentials and experience to continue to move Lone Star College in the right direction,” said Dr. David Holsey, LSCS board chair. “This college will be in very capable hands with Steve at the helm.”

Dr. Head has served as the president of Lone Star College-North Harris since 2007.  At LSCS he has also held the position of executive vice chancellor, acting chief operating officer, and president of LSC-Kingwood, among other positions. Dr. Head received his Ph.D. in history from Texas Tech University, and M.A. and B.A. in history from Lamar University in Beaumont.

LSCS was assisted in its search by consultant Gold Hill Associates, which conducted open forums at each of the six Lone Star Colleges and system office to solicit recommendations and comments from faculty, staff and students, which was then recorded and presented in writing to the search committee.

The search committee, comprised of Chairman Holsey and Trustees Robert Adam, Priscilla Kelly and Ron Trowbridge, interviewed six semi-finalist candidates and selected two finalists based on those interviews. The other finalist, Dr. Michael Burke, informed Gold Hill Associates this weekend that he was withdrawing from the chancellor search for personal reasons.

Dr. Richard Carpenter, who served as chancellor since 2007, announced in February that he was retiring as chancellor this summer.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion.  Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.  Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.

Greenspoint District Hosts Events in Conjunction with Offshore Technology Conference

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection held each year at Reliant Park, provided the catalyst for the Greenspoint District to highlight the area for international visitors.

Events hosted by the District in conjunction with OTC included a dinner for a Chinese delegation of potential investors, a breakfast for Scottish and U.S. energy company representatives and a tour of the Greenspoint District for elected officials from both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Sino-U.S. Petroleum Industry Dinner 

Houston City Council member Jerry Davis and Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle were among the many speakers at the Sino-U.S. Petroleum Industry Dinner helping to connect a delegation of 75 Chinese petroleum industry executives with U.S. business and education leaders seeking trade opportunities.

The event was emceed by JC Yu, president of the United States Great Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and included several speakers. Louis Li from the Cine Petroleum & Petrochemical Equipment Industry Association welcomed guests, followed by Jianhui Mo, vice president with the Chine Classification Society who gave an overview of his company and the current state of the oil and gas industry in China. Tazeem Pasha from SelectUSA and Jensen Shen from Greater Houston Partnership shared their insights on foreign investment in Houston and the state of Texas. In addition, attorney Manuel Moctezuma gave an update on energy reform laws in Mexico, while Greenspoint District President Jerry Lowry provided an overview of Greenspoint.

One of the highlights of the evening was Council member Jerry Davis’ twin six-year-old daughters making a presentation in Mandarin, which they are learning while attending the Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School in Bellaire.

The night concluded with table toasts conducted by JC Yu and Greenspoint District officials.

U.S./UK Hands Across the Water Breakfast 

Fifty government officials and petroleum industry leaders from the UK and Houston gathered at the second annual U.S./UK – Hands Across the Water breakfast to discuss business opportunities available on both sides of the Atlantic. Aberdeen and Houston are Sister Cities, with similar economies and industries. The Greenspoint District hosts the annual breakfast to maximize current and potential partnerships by discussing topics affecting both markets.

The breakfast was emceed by Regina Lindsey, the District’s chief development officer who has made several trips to Scotland to meet with industry and government leaders. Presentations began with perspectives from executives with companies that have offices in both Houston and Aberdeen. Graham Elliott, president of Petrasco Services Inc. shared why his company chose Greenspoint when selecting a U.S. location, and Colin Woods from DISA Global Solutions, whose company recently purchased a Scottish firm, spoke about U.S. companies finding value in Aberdeen. Greenspoint District President Jerry Lowry also provided an overview of Greenspoint.

The breakfast concluded with a panel discussion on the global challenge of attracting women to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers, specifically in the oil and gas fields. The various panelists shared insights and strategies for overcoming this workforce gap.

Panelists included:

  • Lori Lambropoulous, principal, Energy Institute High School
  • Mary LeMaster, curriculum manager, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council
  • Rita Marcella, dean of faculty, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University
  • Christina Todd, curriculum and instruction, Lonestar College Workforce Council

Greenspoint District Tour 

The Greenspoint District concluded OTC week with a tour of the District for government officials from both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Staff at the District have worked diligently to build relationships with business, government and media leaders in Scotland. The tour was an ideal opportunity to show off and discuss the District with these officials during their time in Houston. Tour particpants included Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam and representatives from the Aberdeen City Economic Development Team, Aberdeenshire and The Aberdeen Press & Journal.