STORIES

HCDE Receives ‘Top Workplace’ as Large Employer for Second Consecutive Year

For a second consecutive year, Harris County Department of Education gains notoriety as one of Houston’s Top large workplaces through the Houston Chronicle’s Top Workplaces 2020 program. View photos: https://tinyurl.com/y5aqnolb The Top Workplace program is unique because employees weigh in on their employer through a survey where participants remain anonymous. Topics include leadership, work-life balance, training, cooperation and pay/benefits. Companies are judged in three categories: small, medium and large companies. Top Workplaces rankings are determined by a scientific employee survey provided by Energage, an independent research company partnering with the Chronicle for the past 11 years. This year, 130 employers earned recognition as Top Workplaces in the three categories as 3,000 companies applied for the award. Eight-five percent of HCDE’s employees responded to the survey. HCDE was ranked no. 13 in the large company category, a 46 percent improvement over last year’s ranking of no. 24. “This honor shows that HCDE has a family culture and spirit which is valued by our employees,” HCDE Superintendent James Colbert Jr. said. “During this past year, adversity has come our way here and there, but that has done nithing but bring our employees closer together as a family. We are proud we have been able to support our families during the pandemic as we continue to provide high-quality education services to our clients. “HCDE is one of the best places I have worked in my career as a leader in education.”

Human Resources employee Monserrat Witine delivers Top Workplace cupcake to Cecile Porche, Head Start

HCDE provides education services to school districts and the community through a wide array of programs. Five pillar programs include afterschool, Head Start, special schools, school-based therapy services and adult education. Educator Dr. Colina Poullard works as HCDE curriculum director for digital education and innovation. As a teacher trainer, she says she likes working for HCDE because it allows her to serve a large sector of educators.
“Outside of just serving just one district, we get to serve educators in all 25 districts in Harris County, and beyond,” she said.
Employee Amy Thompson works for Educator Certification and Advancement, a HCDE division which trains professionals to become teachers, principals and superintendents.

Amy Thompson

“I value working at HCDE because everyone works as a partner here for the benefit of the students in greater Harris County, and all our hearts are into it,” Thompson said. Head Start employee Gino Kamaya appreciates the benefits programs offered by HCDE, he said. The department contributes to both Teacher Retirement System and Social Security and observes many school holidays, a plus for working parents. “Plus, the leadership team really cares about employees, and that’s the main reason I love working here,” Kamaya said.

Gino Kamaya

Superintendent Colbert said he is humbled that HCDE employees think so highly of the organization they work for.
“I can’t help but think they feel that way because of the trustees and administration and the valuable work in education that all our employees do which has purpose in the community,” Colbert said.
HCDE was founded in 1889 and employees approximately 1,100 employees. Other community programs and services the department provides include a purchasing cooperative, teacher training and records management. Source: HCDE