Senior adults to receive free entry & food Sept. 12 at volleyball game

Special invitation extended to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, helping with recovery

Senior Adult Night at Lee College Volleyball
Volunteers with the Lee College Senior Adult & Travel Program have collected and washed loads of clothes, donated money, provided meals and offered a helping hand to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The program invites all senior adults in the community to enjoy a night away from the rigors of the recovery process Tuesday, Sept. 12, with free entry and food at the Lady Rebel Volleyball home game against San Jacinto College. From left: John James, Carolyn James, Karen Knight, and Carolyn Buntin.

BAYTOWN, TX — The Lee College Senior Adult & Travel Program invites senior adults — particularly those impacted by Hurricane Harvey or hard at work helping their affected neighbors – to enjoy a night away from the rigors of the recovery process next week when Lee College Volleyball takes on conference rival San Jacinto College.

The Lady Rebels will hit the court at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 12, in the Sports Arena on campus. Seniors will get free entry to the game and free pizza, popcorn and drinks with a photo ID.

“The senior adult program each year offers this fun night in partnership with Lee College Athletics,” said Lynne Foley, program manager. “This year we would like to invite as special guests all senior adults impacted by the storm, and also the great senior adults volunteering in our community to join us.”

The program will also be collecting canned goods to support the Lee College Food Bank, which helps students in need — and the Lady Rebels have designated the game “First Responders Appreciation Night” in recognition of the first responders across the community who helped to rescue and assist those in need during the storm.

For more information about Senior Adult Night at the Lee College Volleyball game against San Jacinto College, contact the Center for Workforce and Community Development at 281.425.6311.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Youth camps now taking registrations

To register for any of these events, visit www.lee.edu/workforce/ or call 281.425.6311.

Aviation Camp

Soar into the world of aviation and create unforgettable memories! This one-day summer camp will introduce campers to the cutting edge of aviation and the basics of flight through a unique combination of fun and discovery.

Aviation Camp is open to children 10-15 years old, and it is held 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3. The cost is $69, which includes lunch.

Camp participants will explore through education, team building, smart learning classrooms, hands-on activities, sophisticated flight simulations, and an adventurous tour at a local airport, where they will witness a day in the life of a pilot.

Participants also will gain skills to apply to in everyday life and discover the unlimited opportunities a career in aviation presents. Field trips will be to Texas Southern University and Hobby Airport. Close-toed shoes are required.

Youth Entrepreneur Camp

Do you have a great idea? Do you want to have your own business some day? If so, and if you’re between the ages of 12 and 16, this camp is for you!

The camp runs 1-4 p.m. Thursday, July 27, in room 351 of the ATC on Lee College’s main campus in Baytown.

Every good idea needs a plan. In this class you will explore business options and business plans for your unique ideas. You will learn how to develop your ideas, organize your facts, market your product/service and potentially make a profit. You learn hands-on about running a business by operating the campus Books and Beans store. At the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of what’s needed to get your business off the ground and find investors!

Lunch is included in the $19 camp registration fee.

Let’s Keep it Real

Financial Education is a tool that no one can take from you. Let’s Keep it Real, an interactive financial presentation inspired by the game show Let’s Make a Deal, makes financial learning fun, while giving students an incentive to listen.

This free session takes place 9-10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, in the Bayer Conference Room of the main Lee College campus in Baytown.

Knowing that there are tangible prizes entices students to become engaged and retain the information presented to them at the moment, while they subconsciously absorb the facts that will ultimately make them winners at life. Let’s Keep it Real introduces financial knowledge regarding credit, budgeting, wants, needs, and other aspects of the world of finance.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

‘Ready to Work’ grant program trains students for petrochemical careers

Free program offered through the workforce center targets unemployed & underemployed

H-1B Ready to Work Petrochem Grant grads and staff from the Center for Workforce and Community Development
Graduates of the Lee College H-1B Ready to Work Petrochem Grant program gathered with staff from the Center for Workforce and Community Development on Thursday, May 18, 2017, to celebrate completing their classes and earning nationally recognized industry credentials. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the program offers free training to help the long-term unemployed and underemployed prepare for petrochemical careers.

BAYTOWN, TX — After completing free training at Lee College and earning craft and trade credentials recognized by employers around the country, nearly 40 students are now ready to begin careers in the booming petrochemical industry.

Lee College celebrated in late May the newest graduates of the H-1B Ready to Work Petrochem Grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Offered through the Center for Workforce and Community Development at no cost to eligible participants, the program is designed to help the long-term unemployed and underemployed gain the knowledge and skills they need to prepare for high-growth and high-demand industry jobs in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Courses include pipefitting, welding, millwright, electrical, instrumentation, first-line supervisor, project management and process technology refresher — all taught by instructors with years of professional experience, using the latest tools of the trade and new technology found in the real-world working environment.

Dedra Moore had been looking to get into instrumentation for two years when she learned about the H-1B grant program and was referred to Lee College by Workforce Solutions.

“I didn’t give it a second thought; I was determined to get into that class and I didn’t want to miss a thing,” Moore said. “Our instructors were amazing. They motivated us and made sure each individual student understood every concept. They gave us 100 percent more than what we learned in the textbook. We were taught what to expect when we get into the industry, things to look for and the right questions to ask. When we get out there, we’ll know exactly what we’re looking at and what to do.”

At the end of each course, students receive certificates confirming they have successfully completed training and earned the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) credentials that employers in the petrochemical and construction industries trust and can verify.

“With all your hard work and dedication, you persisted to the end,” Marsha Tuha, director of Workforce Development, told the graduates. “This is the first step toward some amazing changes to come in your lives.”

And that’s exactly what graduate Roger Williams is confident he will make after completing the H-1B pipefitting course: a major change for the better. The Trinidad native led a rough life before immigrating to the United States, where he has earned his GED and also plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree after finding a position in the petrochemical industry.

“This program has been a life-changing experience and the perfect start,” Williams said. “I encourage and talk to everyone I know about it because it’s wonderful and it’s worth it.”

For more information about eligibility for and enrolling in the H-1B Ready to Work Petrochem Grant program at Lee College, contact the Center for Workforce and Community Development at 281.425.6311 or visit www.lee.edu/workforce/ready2work.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee enrolling students in EMT courses coming to Baytown in July

Scholarships & payment plans available for those seeking EMT training, certification

Students practice loading patient into ambulance
Students in the Lee College EMT program practice loading classmate Makenzie Lowery, acting as a patient on a stretcher, into the full-size box ambulance simulator located inside the classroom at the Lee College Education Center – South Liberty County. Also pictured, from left: Hayley Bosarge, Chris Daniel, Tricia McQueen, and Dillon Danek.

BAYTOWN, TX — The Center for Workforce and Community Development at Lee College is bringing EMT classes to Baytown next month for those interested in preparing for a rewarding career on the front line of emergency medical care.

Scholarships and payment plans are available for students who enroll in the EMT course in Baytown, which will begin Monday, July 10. Two class sessions are being offered to help shift workers and others who want to complete training while juggling work and other responsibilities: a morning class from 8 a.m.-noon and an evening class from 6-10 p.m.

The EMT program at Lee College includes 144 hours of classroom instruction and 80 hours of rotations in clinical and ambulance settings. The curriculum requires students to master key skills and work through scenarios they will encounter in the field, from patient assessment and basic airway management to bandaging and splinting, bleeding control and spinal immobilization.

Students who successfully complete the EMT program are prepared to take the National Registry Assessment Exam to earn certification as an EMT, which qualifies them for entry-level positions responding to emergency calls, providing immediate care to the critically ill or injured and transporting patients to medical facilities. Students also need EMT certification to become firefighters or move up to careers as an Advanced EMT, EMT-Paramedic or Licensed Paramedic.

“A good EMT is someone who cares about people and can adapt to different environments and circumstances,” said Michael Cooper, who manages the EMT and Fire Science programs for the college and has been a certified medic herself for more than 30 years. “Every scene, every house, every call is different. Improvise, adapt and overcome — it’s part of doing the job. It gets in your blood.”

For more information about enrolling in the EMT program — especially getting ready for the July 10 start date in Baytown — contact the Center for Workforce and Community Development at 281.425.6311 or visit www.lee.edu/ems-program.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Families invited to learn more about Kids at College summer program at Lee College

Annual Summer Preview Day on April 29 to include registration information, fun activities

BAYTOWN, TX — Families looking to keep their children and teenagers engaged, active and entertained this summer are invited for a sneak peek of the Kids at College program offered by the Lee College Center for Workforce and Community Development.

The third annual Kids at College Summer Preview Day is set for 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 29, in the gymnasium on campus. The fun-filled event is free and open to the public, and will feature hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations and information sessions about dozens of educational, creative, career exploration and athletic camps and workshops designed for youth aged 5-17 years. Camps will run weekly from June 5 through August 17.

Kids at College options include everything from arts and crafts, culinary arts and theater production, to creative writing, private music and voice lessons, gaming, engineering, drafting and design, Minecraft, volleyball, basketball and more. Professional educators, artists and Lee College coaches and student-athletes teach the camps and classes, which will be held at the main campus in Baytown and the Lee College Education Center – South Liberty County.

Parents and families that attend Kids at College Summer Preview Day will be able to register for camps on the spot, enjoy prizes and giveaways and win vouchers to help pay for any applicable registration costs. For more information about Preview Day or the Kids at College program, contact the Center for Workforce and Community Development at 281.425.6311.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Foundation brings donors together with scholarship recipients

Six people posing, both donors and student recipients
Donors to the Lee College Foundation met the recipients of their scholarships Friday, April 7, 2017, at the 15th annual Foundation Scholarship Breakfast. The annual gathering allows students to share with donors how their generosity has made a difference. Pictured from left: Louise Mann, donor; Drake Salinas, student; Nancy Mann, donor; Denia Aleman, student; Michael Mann, donor; and Claudia Wyles, representing corporate donor Community Resource Credit Union.

For the individuals and businesses that donate to the Lee College Foundation, there is no greater proof of the positive impact of their generosity than meeting and hearing the stories of students awarded tuition and textbook scholarships.

Students like Maryori Portillo, a first-generation college student and recipient of the Wallace Heaner Tuition Scholarship and John and Stella Pepper Textbook Scholarship who had children at a young age and dropped out of high school. After earning her GED and experiencing difficulties in her first try at higher education, Portillo came to Lee College and enrolled in two classes: English and speech. Instructors recognized she had special talent, but the cost of out-of-district tuition and other expenses nearly forced her to quit school after just one semester.

“They immediately saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself and introduced me to the Honors Program,” Portillo shared April 7 at the 15th annual Foundation Scholarship Breakfast, where donors connected with scholarship recipients and learned firsthand how the funds made a difference in their lives.

“Thanks to the scholarships, I was able to return to school,” she said. “I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to go to sleep without college tuition keeping you up at night. It’s a weight lifted off your shoulders and a worry gone. I would not be standing here without your help.”

Or students like Audra Smith, a process technology major and intern at Chevron Phillips Chemical who received a workforce scholarship from the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA). EHCMA donated $170,000 to Lee College this year for student scholarships and other support for craft and technology programs.

A donor and two students stand and pose.
The Lee College Foundation hosted a reception Tuesday, March 28, 2017, for students who received workforce scholarships from the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) to meet managers and other personnel from the association’s member companies. EHCMA donated $170,000 to Lee College this year for student scholarships and other support for craft and technology programs. Pictured (l-r): Jarvis Booker, student; Bear Estrada of Ohmstede; and Tevin Goodman, student.

Just before she started classes, Smith lost her home to a fire and learned her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Four months into the program, her mother passed away – and soon after, so did her father and grandfather. Knowing she would not have to worry about paying for school helped her persist in the program despite her losses, determined to earn her degree and keep the promises she made to herself and her family.

“Workforce scholarships help us, as students, achieve our greatness,” Smith told managers and leaders from EHCMA’s member companies in late March at a student and donor networking reception hosted by the foundation. “By donating money for these scholarships, you all are changing lives every day.”

Under the leadership of its Board of Directors, the Lee College Foundation has raised outside funds since 1968 to provide for student needs. The fund balance for the foundation now exceeds $10 million and all students are eligible to receive scholarships — those pursuing academic and technical degrees, as well as those enrolled full-time, part-time, in dual-credit classes for high-school students to earn college credits, in non-credit classes offered by the Center for Workforce and Community Development, and in the Lee College Huntsville Center prison program.

Although the foundation has historically focused on accepting scholarship funds, board members consider other worthwhile initiatives that directly affect student success and promote the student’s ability to reach their education goals. To that end, tax-deductible contributions from industry and private donors also support the Student Success Fund, created to help those facing extraordinary circumstances pay for college-related expenses that might otherwise derail their journey.

“One of the most heartwarming things about Lee College is knowing how much this community loves this institution,” said Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown. “The consistent outpouring of generosity helps ensure students can do the three most important things: enroll, persist and graduate. We want them to get here, stay here and leave here with a degree.”

For more information about donating to the Lee College Foundation, contact Executive Director  Pam Warford at 281.425.6361 or pwarford@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee College Vice President Debi Jordan to retire in January 2017

Debi Jordan and the Lee College leadership
Debi Jordan, second from the left, with Lee College President Dr. Dennis Brown, Lee College’s Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) 2016 scholarship recipients, Executive Vice President Dr. Christina Ponce and CCPI Grant Coordinator Kelly Dando at the 2016 CCPI Scholarship Reception. Jordan will retire from her position as Vice President of Workforce and Corporate Partnerships in January 2017.

BAYTOWN, TX When Debi Jordan was given the task of researching self-sustaining training programs at community colleges in 2005, she had no idea where it would end up. Seven years later, Lee College President Dr. Dennis Brown and its Board of Regents gave the go-ahead to launch the Lee College Center for Workforce and Community Development, and after a nationwide search, Jordan was selected to lead.

Now Jordan, the Vice President of Workforce and Corporate Partnerships, is ready to experience another new chapter: retirement. Jordan’s daughter is expecting a little girl in December, and she said though the decision was difficult, it became much easier with each ultrasound she saw.

“Being able to watch my daughter becoming a mom to her own daughter — it is coming full circle. I feel so blessed to have had such a great career, and Lee College really is my home,” Jordan said. “But this next part of my life feels so natural. With the help of a lot of great people, I believe this center — my third child — is in a great place. The foundation is stable, and under new leadership it’s poised to move to the next level. I’m ready to be a BeBe to my sweet Ella Rae, and to watch the center continue to grow.”

Over the past four years, the center has hosted 1,710 classes, served 7,694 different students and boasts a total enrollment count of 17,559 thanks to repeat students.

“Lee College is full of great people and Debi definitely shines in that group,” said Executive Vice President Dr. Christina Ponce. “She is one of the most professional, dedicated and hard-working individuals I have ever met. She has made such a tremendous difference not only at Lee College’s Center for Workforce and Community Development, but the entire community and the college as a whole. She is extremely loved and appreciated in our community for being an incredible civic oriented leader, a friend to all and a pioneer in workforce education. We are indebted to Debi for all she has been able to accomplish.”

Jordan helped establish and maintain partnerships with organizations like the Baytown/West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, East Harris County Manufacturers Association, Economic Alliance Houston Port Region and the Greater Houston Partnership, as well as industry partners such as ExxonMobil, ChevronPhillips Chemical, Enterprise Products, Covestro, Shell, Bechtel and Jacobs.

“ExxonMobil deeply appreciates the support that Debi Jordan has provided our company during her time at Lee College, especially regarding our Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) workforce development program,” said Connie Tilton of ExxonMobil Public and Government Affairs. “CCPI has been recognized across the state and nationally as a premiere program, and Debi’s leadership and vision has been the driving force behind it. Our workforce and community are better due to her dedication and hard work. Debi is leaving a legacy at Lee College, and it’s been our honor and privilege to work with her.”

Pam Warford, Executive Director of the Lee College Foundation, Director of Foundation and Donor Relations and a lifelong friend, described Jordan’s contributions to the college as intangible.

“She has increased our reach through relationships with individuals, organizations and consortiums.  These relationships have benefited the college in a huge way,” Warford said. “In addition, she has worked hard to bring the types of courses to Lee College that our partners in the industry have asked for — customized, fast-tracked training.”

Jordan helped organize and lead ExxonMobil’s initial $500,000 grant that established the CCPI. The grant, which has since increased to a total of total of $1.8 million, funds workforce development for the Houston-area petrochemical industry through nine local community colleges.

“Debi has been a unique asset to Lee College, and though we’re happy for her next chapter, we’re deeply saddened about losing her. Her networking skills, business acumen and passion for improving the lives of those around her will be missed,” Brown said. “We will conduct a national search for her replacement.”

In the interim, leadership of regional workforce initiatives will transition to Ponce. The Center’s leadership, which includes Interim Director of Corporate Services Marsha Tuha, Community Education Director Kimberlee Techeira and Business Operations Manager Delma Garcia, will lead the teams and day-to-day operations of the center under Ponce’s direction.

“I’ve known Debi for 10 years, and we’ve worked together for four years. I was a part of the center’s team when it began, so I’ve had a unique opportunity to witness and be part of the great things she’s done. She’s a special person to work for, because she’s so passionate and skilled at what she does. She isn’t just a boss, she’s a leader with a big heart,” Tuha said. “I’m happy that she’ll be able to spend time with her new grandbaby, but I’m definitely going to miss her. We all are.”

Jordan’s retirement is effective Jan. 1, 2017. She has also been a partner in an independent insurance agency in West Texas for nearly 30 years. She is a licensed agent, and plans on becoming more involved in the business.

Lee College thanks Jordan for her dedication & long-lasting impact in the community and workforce training.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.