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L-R: Leslie Bowlin (Exec. Dir HMC), Sara Howell, Marco Poisler (COO Global Energy & Capital Projects, UTC Overseas), Former Sec. Energy Ernest Moniz, Margaret A. Kidd, MILT, CPE (Program Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Technology, University of Houston) at Houston Maritime Museum event on Energy Transition, Hydrogen Power, Evolution of Maritime Transportation & Energy, Workforce Development


HOUSTON, TEXAS. On the heels of CERAWeek, the largest energy conference in the world, and a visit from former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Houston Maritime Center (HMC) is moving full steam ahead into the Energy Transition with a focus on education and workforce development dovetailing beautifully with its mission and purpose.

“The goal is, let’s have this transition, which let’s face it, is massive to accomplish, without stranding workers, without stranding communities,” said Moniz, who spoke at Houston Maritime Center upon being presented the HMC Maritime Education Award in early March. “And for that to work we have to put the people to work that have the skillset.”

Which is precisely what HMC offers as it continues to distinguish itself thanks to robust relationships with Houston maritime industry and The University of Houston, among others. In addition, HMC staff is diligently expanding the non-profit’s reach to include energy companies of all shapes and sizes engaging in all forms and facets of energy technology pacing today’s need for a well-equipped workforce.

“I know of at least two hydrogen hub proposals that are being developed here (Houston), and that’s two out of at least twenty-five across the country, so there’s going to be some competition,” said Moniz.

Of course, competition for quality workers in Energy Transition is well underway. With an established oil and gas workforce, the Bayou City has quickly become a favorite for clean energy companies and technological innovation with more than 60K total clean energy jobs that is 7th highest in US Metro areas according to Environmental Entrepreneurs’ Report, 2021. Additionally, a similar 2021 EPA report listed 200 Energy 2.0 companies that moved to or originated in Houston.

“These are the companies that are going to help lead the transition,” Moniz added, “by using the capabilities, the skill sets, the workforce that has the appropriate skills for the Energy Transition.”

Uniquely positioned in energy and maritime synergy and history, HMC makes this commitment at a time of generational shift in energy job creation. This coincides with Port Houston consistently ranked as the #1 US Port for petroleum and petroleum product exports.

“Whether it is biofuels, hydrogen, ammonia, electro fuels; all of these still have a ways to go, in terms of the cost, but that’s what innovation does,” said Moniz. “I would predict that just in time, we will have those fuels that are also applicable to the maritime industry.”

Although Energy Transition promises to be a tremendous undertaking necessitating an “all hands on deck” approach, HMC is working to aid the community with educational tours, programs, and events. Adding to its growing list of services HMC will continue to expand into one of the premier maritime museums and education centers in the world.

Marco Poisler, Chief Operating Officer at UTC Overseas and Executive Board of Trustees Member at HMC, is helping to lead the push: “Houston Maritime Center & Museum and the University of Houston offer our city, the global energy capital of the world, opportunities to engage the community, educate from kindergarten to graduate levels, and facilitate industry by leveraging transferable skills to develop the workforce necessary for the successful Energy Transition.”

Dr. Ernest Moniz’s focus is on advancing energy technology and dedication to public service. Moniz served on MIT’s faculty from 1973-2013, where he is currently Professor Emeritus and Special Advisor to MIT’s President. Serving under the Clinton Administration, and as Secretary of Energy from 2013 – 2017 in the Obama Administration, Dr. Moniz founded the Energy Futures Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to driving innovation in energy technology, policy, and business models. In 2020, EFI launched the Labor Energy Partnership, seeking to support and accelerate the Energy Transition.

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