BEAUMONT, Texas —
If you take a look at plants around Southeast Texas, you'll see how much energy matters to our future.

Community leaders and some of the Golden Triangle's top employers came together for Greater Beaumont's Chamber of Commerce's first 'State of the Workforce.'

"LIT is one of the leading providers for training for the local workforce," said Lamar Institute of Technology Dean of Strategic and Workforce Initiatives Miranda Phillips.

Phillips wants to give students hands-on training so they are prepared.

"We have recently established a corporate college to help to provide some of the training for all of the explosion that's happening in this area," she said.

Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce is "rooting" for programs like these.

Over the next five to ten years, expect an estimated 10,000 new construction and healthcare jobs, along with manufacturing jobs.

"We've all heard about the $54 billion in new projects coming our way up to the Golden Triangle," President CEO of Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce Bill Allen said. "We've got to make sure we've got an adequate workforce."

The hope is it will lead to more locals staying here in Southeast Texas.

"It's fantastic that there's a great number of jobs," Allen said. "We've got to work on the quality of life here as well."

Phillips agrees, she and colleagues at LIT have started working with local school districts as young as elementary aged kids to educate them about the opportunities in the energy sector.

"And making sure they know those are viable pathways where they know they can make lucrative careers," Phillips said.