March 15th 2005
Speaker Dr. Jay Gouge President U of H sponsored by United Space Alliance
The Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston hosted a Business Luncheon on March 15th 2005. The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. G. Jay Gouge, President, University of Houston who spoke on ï¿½Economic Developmentï¿½.
The Luncheon began with a welcome note by Dr. Randhir P Sinha, President, IACCGH who explained that the Chamber was opening up new opportunities to its members to work with other area Chambers and work in an enhanced network. Cynthia Tauss, Gulf Coast Regional Representative, Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism Division, introduced Dr Gouge.
Dr. Gouge spoke about the role of education in economic development highlighting the most important requisites in this direction and the contribution of the University of Houston to the same:
A) Production of people- the average salary of an undergraduate student passing from the University is $36,000 per year and about 86% of the graduate students stay in the region.
Following is generally required of students ready to take up responsibilities in the corporate world:
– Cognitive skills- ability to judge independently and teach.
– Reasoning skills.
– Social skills- oral and written communication skills
– Team skills- team player and a team leader.
– Personal skills- flexibility and creativity.
– Subject related skills- thorough knowledge of his/her Major.
The University with its impeccable infrastructure and ethnically diverse educational community provides ample opportunities and exposure for its students, both, to set foot in the corporate world or be independent entrepreneurs.
B) The University provides a sound platform for research in various fields. About $90 million is spent for research related projects at various levels.
Dr. Gouge spoke about how the predominantly agrarian society of the 1850ï¿½s came of age with the land grant act created in 1862. With this every state had at least one university thereby creating opportunities for students to get into engineering and mechanical arts. Highlighting the economistsï¿½ view on the return of investment on higher education, the speaker presented a figure of $2.8 for every dollar spent and $12 for every dollar in the long run.
Citing the example of how investments in the University of Pittsburgh changed the face of the state when it was faced with one of its worst economic crisis, the speaker concluded by drawing attention to the need for investing in education in the city of Houston while in its hey days.
The list of special invitees included:
IACCGH Advisors Mr. Skand Ranjan Tayal, Consul General of India in Houston, Vijay Goradia( Chairman Vinmar) and George Hrdlicka.. Mr. Jodie Jiles, Chairman, Greater Houston Partnership was a special invitee and his brief address emphasized that Houston is about Energy, Medicine and Space. He praised the Chamber for its constant effort to reach out to the business community and stated that the Partnership would work with the chamber in every area of development, be it clean air, transportation, education or commerce. He praised Dr Gouge for proving in action his commitment to what he said he would do. He explained how Dr Gouge had covered every area of education-he was involved with the NASA education program at Clear Lake and in setting up an Energy Center. In medicine he had signed an affiliation with Methodist and Univ. of Houston Medical Center.
The Sponsor of the luncheon Penny L. White of the United Space Alliance spoke about the missions of her organization and assured the Chamber of her continued support .She also met the students of the U of H and assured them she would explore Internship opportunities for them.. Jagdip Ahluwalia of IACCGH emphasized that India is not just a source to buy from but one of the largest emerging middle class markets to sell goods to.
The Luncheon provided an excellent platform for exchange of views and ideas about the emerging markets in Houston in the field of health, oil, space and education. And was co-hosted the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & the Houston Minority Business Council and was supported by the Asian Chamber, Emerging Markets Group at Houston Technology Center, Government Procurement Connections 2005, HMBDC, HSBDC and SATOP.
The IACCGH is encouraging members to visit www.houstongpc.com to register for the Free March 29th & 30th Government Procurement Connections conference.
The Chamber is also working with HMBDCï¿½s Milton Thibodeaux and Alexander Sandoval to help IACCGH members apply for Minority certification with the City, State, Metro and Port. Help is also being provided thru HMBDC and SBA to help members find finance to grow their business. If you are a small business and need help with your business plan, request for funding or certification call the Chamber at 713 624 7131 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
( submitted by U of H students :Aditya Kumar Agarwal & Yutheeka Gadhyan.)
Dr Sinha with Jodie Jiles