Mayor Johnson: Imagine a brighter future for Dallas families
Through Workforce Dallas, the city can meet its full potential.
The following was adapted from my email newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
As inflation squeezes working families across this city, it’s more critical than ever to provide opportunities to upskill the Dallas workforce and increase people’s earning potential.
Workforce development has been a top priority for me for years. Part of it is personal. Growing up in West Dallas and Oak Cliff, my parents worked in a series of manual labor jobs to put food on the table. They kept trudging along, putting their heads down, and working hard. With four kids at home, they had to. That also meant they didn’t have the time, the means, or the information necessary to move from their jobs into higher-paying careers.
I have since represented the people of southern Dallas for nearly a decade in the Legislature and for more than three years in this job. Now, it is abundantly clear that there is a real need for more robust coordination among this city’s educational providers, employers, and other associated entities.
That’s why my Workforce Czar, Lynn McBee, recently announced the new Workforce Dallas initiative to move these vital efforts forward.
Workforce Dallas will work with nonprofits to reach residents in the city’s underserved and overlooked communities and connect them with employers and training programs.
Currently, only 40% of jobs in the city pay $32,000 a year or more, according to a landmark study.
It’s time to change that. Imagine a valet parking attendant joining a training program to become an airline mechanic — and making close to six figures year while filling a tremendous need in a city that boasts two major airports (including the second-busiest airport in the entire world). Imagine a cashier being able to take their family on a nice summer vacation, away from all this heat, because they became a medical technician in the city’s bustling Medical District. Imagine a telemarketer who also does seasonal work as a tax preparer for extra cash — both careers are at risk of automation — finding the training that would help them start a logistics career at the growing Inland Port.
With Workforce Dallas, these kinds of stories can become realities. Click here to watch a video so you can see what this could mean to Dallas families.
This is the beginning of a much larger effort. At first, Workforce Dallas will work with residents in the 75216 ZIP code in South Oak Cliff and then expand from there. And as this program grows, so, too, will the Dallas economy.
Major employers often make decisions about where to locate their businesses based on the strength and skill of a city’s workforce. That means upskilling the people of southern Dallas today can lead to a virtuous cycle of business relocations to Dallas and create a more vibrant future for all of this city’s communities.
It’s time to tap into this city’s full potential. Workforce Dallas can help do just that.
For more information on these efforts, visit WorkforceDallas.org.
Now, below are some other important updates for you.
Back to School Fair
The 26th Annual Mayor’s Back to School Fair is back on August 5 at Fair Park!
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fairs in 2020 and 2021 were drive-through events that provided thousands of Dallas kids with the school supplies they need to have a successful year inside their classrooms.
But this year, the fair is back fully in person for the first time since 2019. That means booths, backpacks, and more for this city’s families.
It’s wonderful to have the fair back again. The recent kickoff press conference was also a lot of fun and featured new Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde and a few other old friends:
You can sign up a student, donate to the cause, spread the word, and learn more by visiting the Back to School Fair’s website.
One note: The deadline to register to receive supplies is July 29. All families in need of supplies must meet federal poverty guidelines.
It’s a pleasure every year to help so many families in this city to have a successful school year. Thank you to everyone who is part of it in big and small ways!
Park of the Month
The Park of the Month for July 2022 is Craddock Park!
Craddock Park, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is a 6.9-acre park nestled in the heart of the city at 4613 Lemmon Avenue, right off the Dallas North Tollway. The park boasts a new playground, resurfaced tennis courts, a walking trail, and decorative lighting for evening hours.
It’s a quiet green space with mature trees, allowing families to get away and enjoy the shade. The park is also adjacent to urban neighborhoods where residents can walk across the street, get active, or grab a bench to adore the urban canopy.
Go for a visit soon and take advantage of a great park near the city center.
That’s it for today. Hope you’re staying cool and safe this summer!