Houston, TX – Petroleum Express, a local Port of Houston-connected transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) company, has formalized an agreement with TransPORTs, a national industry partner of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship, to create a new registered apprenticeship program for its current and future workers.
Petroleum Express President Peggy Roark first learned about the opportunity for collaboration with TransPORTs at a July 2017 Port of Houston Registered Apprenticeship Accelerator meeting. Roark joined representatives from more than 30 leading TDL industry employers and Houston-area colleges at the Accelerator meeting hosted by U.S. Department of Labor national industry partner TransPORTs and the Port of Houston. 
TransPORTs was selected as one of only eight national industry partners to expand registered apprenticeship across the U.S. Port of Houston Senior Director for Small Business and Education Outreach Gilda Ramirez has collaborated closely with TransPORTs and is a strong ambassador for apprenticeship with the port’s local partners such as Petroleum Express. “The port succeeds when our business partners succeed,” said Ramirez. 
Registered apprenticeship has an 80 year history in the U.S. but has centuries of proven effectiveness. The “earn and learn” model to workforce development and training more effectively enables employers to fill positions, increase worker productivity and reduce employee skills gaps. It also provides workers with structured on-the-job training, the opportunity to earn academic and industry-valued credentials often at no cost, a progressively increasing schedule of wages over the course of the apprenticeship program, and a nationally-recognized portable occupational credential upon completion. 
Through the engagement agreement TransPORTs is joining local U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship staff based in Houston to accelerate development and launch of Petroleum Express’ new program. TransPORTs will provide the company with technical expertise, program support and incentive funding. 
TransPORTs Executive Director Barbara Murray joined Peggy and her team during National Apprenticeship Week to celebrate the collaboration. “We are thrilled that our work with the Port of Houston has resulted in a new ‘earn and learn’ opportunity for Petroleum Express employees,” said Murray. “Working alongside US DOL OA Apprenticeship & Training Representatives such as James Carnes and Jon Lavin we look forward to getting Petroleum Express’ program up and running and the first cohort of apprentices started!
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