Need a Job? Opportunities Abound for Transportation YP’s in the Nation’s Fourth-Largest City
By Nick Norboge, YPT Houston Chair
When I moved to Houston in 2012, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a recent Texas A&M graduate and a lifelong Texan, I had long-dreamed of eventually finding my way up north to Washington, DC. Multiple trips to the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting affirmed my suspicion that all the major transportation-related groups were located there. I was almost certain that if I wanted to advance in my transportation career, moving to DC was a must. “I need to be where all the action was, so we may have to date long-distance for a while,” I remember saying to my girlfriend (now wife) at the time. I could tell quickly that wasn’t gunna’ fly with her.
Oh, how I was wrong. Since 2012, Houston has proven itself to be replete with opportunities for transportation professionals. Opportunities associated with the Port of Houston (the nation’s number one ranked port in foreign tonnage), the Texas Department of Transportation (the nation’s largest DOT, with Houston serving as home to one if its largest division headquarters), numerous consulting companies, the Houston-Galveston Area Council, non-profit planning organizations, the tenth-busiest airport in North America, and the thousand other transportation organizations that call the Greater Houston home.
During my time as Chair, one thing is clear: all of them are hiring like crazy and are desperate for transportation professionals to make this city a better place for the 5-million-some-odd people who live in the region. I learned quickly that if your goal is to advance and make an impact in the transportation profession, Houston was the place to do it.
Now that I live here, I am often asked two things for those looking to relocate here: first is about the climate and second is about things to do. Regarding the climate, I’ll start with the bad news. During the summer, it gets hot. Real hot. It’s a time when you’ll be thankful you work in office with A/C. However, winters here are fantastic (keep in mind that constitutes the other half of the year). Furthermore, while other Texas cities suffer from the occasional ice storm, sleet, and even snow during the winter (even Austin gets ‘em more than we do), our proximity to the Gulf means we’re usually sitting pretty.
I’m not stretching it when I say that Houston is the place to be more often than not. For extracurricular activities—first off, we have a food scene that some have compared second only to New York in terms of the quality and diversity of our restaurants. Speaking of diversity, did you Houston is the most diverse city in the whole U.S. of A.? With growing bar scenes downtown, Midtown, the Heights/White Oak, Washington Ave., growing bike and trail opportunities, Houston is quickly becoming a fantastic place to live, work, play, and advance your transportation career.
Finally (and perhaps most importantly), Houston has the best damn chapter in all of YPT. We started in 2013 and already we have up to 165 “friends” and 39 members. Pretty good for a young chapter. We will do our best to connect you to transportation opportunities in the Bayou City (no, we’re not in Louisiana—they wish).