22 Dec 2023


**Please note, the location of the summit will be: the Odessa College Saulsbury Campus Center, Joe Zant Community Room


Economic growth in Odessa continues, with no signs of slowing down. And while growth is good, it can create community challenges, such as access to continuing education, affordable childcare and housing. 


The Odessa Development Corporation will host the Odessa Workforce Summit in January. The theme is “Connecting the Dots,” and it is designed to give stakeholders an opportunity to find solutions to the challenges a growing economy and workforce experience.


“The summit brings together experts in industry, childcare, workforce development and education to explore the current workforce landscape,” said Tom Manskey, director of economic development at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. “Roundtable sessions follow that are designed to give attendees an in-depth opportunity to explore possible solutions to the difficulties workers may experience.”


Willie Taylor, CEO of the Permian Basin Workforce Development Board, and 

Drew Scheberle, executive director of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, will provide an overview of the needs of the current workforce landscape.


Panel discussions will follow including Industry Workforce Panel, Education and Training, Workforce Support Systems – Childcare, and Workforce Support Systems – Housing.


The lunchtime speaker is Tracee Bentley of the Permian Strategic Partnership. She will discuss how local companies are collectively working on quality of life, employee recruitment and retention.


Round table discussions follow and are designed to address closing gaps. Topics include Apprenticeship Programs, Training Grants/Skills Grants, Dual Credit/Accelerated Programs and Collaborations, Success in Medical Field – Attracting, Recruiting, Retaining Providers, and more.


Speakers and roundtable leaders include Dr. Greg Williams from Odessa College, Dr. Sandra Woodley from UT Permian Basin, Dr. Scott Muri and Ryan Merritt from Ector County ISD, Dr. Timothy Benton of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, John Jameson of United/Market Street, Dana Davis of the Worley Group, and Valarie Diaz of Montessori School of Odessa, just to name a few.


There will also be representatives from Betenbough Homes, Odessa Housing Department and several oil and gas operators included in the sessions.


“We hope everyone will join us as we work to connect community partners to address the workforce issues facing the Odessa region,” Manskey said.


The Odessa Workforce Summit: Connecting the Dots, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, in the Odessa College Saulsbury Campus Center, Joe Zant Community Room . There is no cost to attend the summit, but reservations are required. RSVP to info@odessaecodev.com. Lunch will be provided.