Career Development

There is a growing deficit in meaningful employment and career exploration opportunities for youth, preventing them from gaining the skills to take advantage of Houston’s dynamic economy. The Mayor's Office of Education and Youth Engagement and its many partners recognize the need for a collective, community-driven solution to this complex problem. Houston’s future is dependent on the educational success of our local youth. There is no greater predictor to the health and wellbeing of our city than the educational level of our population. Our youth deserve educational opportunities that connect them to the local workforce and career exploration, so they can make informed choices about their future career path in Houston’s dynamic economy.

Hire Houston Youth

The Mayor's Office of Education and Youth Engagement manages the Hire Houston Youth program. Hire Houston Youth serves as the facilitator to connect youth to local jobs where they are empowered with an “earn and learn” opportunity in Houston’s dynamic economy. Youth, age 16–24, are offered minimum eight-week paid summer jobs and internships at the City of Houston, the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.

Hire Houston Youth Statistics Graphic

For more information about the Hire Houston Youth program, please visit the Hire Houston Youth website.


TechConnect helps bring digital equity to young people living in poverty by targeting two populations of young people: Children ages 6-13 who lack access to tech devices and gadgets; and also to the TechConnect interns aged 16-24, who may be in high school or college, or are Opportunity Youth, and who are afforded and benefit from academic and professional development opportunities throughout the summer.

The program brings STEM resources, especially tech resources, to underserved youth at City of Houston Park Community Centers. TechConnect Interns facilitate the daily delivery of highly interactive, hands-on STEM activities as well as literacy enrichment for youth participating in neighborhood park recreation center's summer program. In the Fall of 2021, free public WIFI was installed at each TechConnect site. In addition to the daily STEM kits and resources that rotate through the parks, TechConnect Fairs travel to different park sites providing an even wider opportunity for both children and interns to learn about and engage in STEM stations set up by other tech industry professionals, educational non-profits, and City of Houston departments.

Watch out “Employee Spotlight below about how TechConnect interns bridge the technology gap.


TechConnect Resources:


Houston is a leading city for diversity in STEM &Medical jobs and in order to preserve this success, we need to incorporate young people into this sector. As a result, the Mayor's Office of Education and Youth Engagement has placed special emphasis on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Medical education and career opportunities to the cities young people. The office, supported by the National League of Cities Youth Excel program, provides targeted support to diverse opportunity youth and connects them to unique and previously inaccessible STEM &Medical education & resources.

HouSTEM is a public-private partnership that assists youth and young adults prepare for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by supporting the coordination of existing yet disconnected Houston STEM initiatives and programs.


HouSTEM's Four Areas of Focus



Organize convenings with STEM representatives, businesses, non-profits, and invested families and set collective priorities.


Develop a clearinghouse for STEM information and resources.


Support STEM initiatives that are already operating in Houston.


Implement a strategic plan of action to support the STEM community in Houston.

STEM Development in Houston




The City of Houston was awarded a $150,000 grant from the National League of Cities (NLC) as part of a new initiative to make true economic opportunity a reality for youth and young adults who are marginalized from quality education and career opportunities.

Rising Issue

Rising Issue

Nearly 110,000 youth and young adults who remain disconnected from school and/or the workforce are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) from low-income communities and have limited access to quality education and career opportunities.

Relation to STEM

Relation to STEM

Disconnected and/or BIPOC youth and young adults from low-income communities often face structural barriers to accessing lucrative career pathways and quality jobs, particularly in high-demand STEM industries.


HouSTEM's Action Plan


Goal 1

Redesign the Hire Houston Youth program to focus on empowerment rather than just employment, including expanding STEM-based career pathways, promoting quality job offerings, and building partnerships with community-based organizations that have the knowledge and relationships to upskill, engage, and support young people.

Goal 2

Collect demographics of youth and young adults participating in the Hire Houston Youth program, identify barriers to accessing quality STEM jobs, and promote STEM programs to employers and youth while offering additional resources to youth and young adults to avoid barriers.

Goal 3

Expose disconnected and/or BIPOC youth and young adults from low-income communities to STEM careers through ‘BUILD A CAREER IN STEM,’ a map developed by the Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement that will provide a clear guide to access STEM careers and simplify the process of finding STEM jobs of interest. This pathway map will perform three main functions: clarify and align programs and services; link increasing levels of certification, education, and employment; and support youth in choosing opportunities that interest them.

On June 10, 2023 the City of Houston Mayor's Office of Education & Youth Engagement hosted the very first Youth Summit with a special emphasis on young people's interest in STEM & Med careers. Supported by the National League of Cities & Siemens Foundation, Houston is proud to pursue the goals of the Youth Excel project geared towards inspiring young underrepresented people to pursue STEM & Med fields.

Re-Engagement of Opportunity Youth

Houston is one of America's most diverse and youthful city (25% is ages 0-18) and has over 110,000 youth who are neither working nor in school, ranging in age from 16 to 24 years, and represent an often over-looked segment of society known as opportunity youth. To support these youth, the Mayor's Office of Education and Youth Engagement is a part of the Reengaging Opportunity Youth in the South in Education and Employment (ROYS) initiative spearheaded by the National League of Cities. ROYS is a peer-learning cohort that addresses the urgent need to develop community-wide approaches to reengage opportunity youth in education, employment, and beyond. For a selected list of resources and a zip code search database designed to empower opportunity youth, please click here.

Financial Literacy

The Mayor's Office of Education and Youth Engagement manages one of the nation' largest youth workforce development programs focused on underprivileged young people. For many youth, this program was the first time they received a paycheck and thus including financial empowerment at this time was crucial. With the support of the Cities For Financial Empowerment Fund Summer Jobs Connect program and the Houston Financial Empowerment Center, the office connects youth to safe and appropriate banking products, services, and education. For more about financial literacy resources, click here.