Dallas College News Update

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Contact: Alex Lyda; alyda@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — Feb. 2, 2021

(DALLAS) — The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $10 million in workforce development funds to Dallas College, one of only five U.S. higher education institutions selected to participate in a $145 million program to support training for key sectors of the economy.

The competitively awarded grant project, “Innovative Strategies — One Workforce," focuses on areas where Dallas College is actively building training programs in cybersecurity, information technology, advanced manufacturing, robotics and transportation, in conjunction with the Division of Workforce and Advancement and the college's School of Manufacturing and Industrial Technology and School of Engineering, Technology, Mathematics and Sciences.

Together with small and large employer partners such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, AT&T, Shearer's Foods, FFE Transportation Services Inc. and others, Dallas College will collaborate with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas to provide 4,000 people over the next four years with the skills necessary to embark on high-tech careers in rapidly evolving sectors that will be central to the new economy.

By connecting students' educations directly to the needs of industry partners, Dallas College will develop innovative workforce pathways designed to overcome the challenges low-income students face in moving beyond unskilled service-sector jobs. Ultimately, the aim of these partnerships is to foster employment in middle-to-high-skilled emerging occupations.

“Dallas College is committed to the expansion of our workforce programs and to connecting students with work-based learning opportunities like apprenticeships and internships," said Dr. Pyeper Wilkins, vice chancellor of workforce and advancement. “We are thrilled that the Department of Labor recognized the merits of our application and chose to invest in our work and the employer partnerships we are creating. This work will not only help meet the workforce needs of today but will build the infrastructure to support the future of work within these sectors."

Under terms of the grant, Dallas College training models will include a broad range of classroom and on-the-job training, customized training, and registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. Eligible participants served through this grant program must be at least 17 years old and not enrolled in secondary education.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is challenging communities to think as 'One Workforce,'" said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “In a post-coronavirus world, it is critical that local organizations think as one instead of independent parts of a process. Our goal is to create seamless community partnerships to build career pathways for local job seekers to enter middle-to-high-skilled occupations in cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and transportation."

The benefits to students and trainees who will be recruited to the program are many. Significantly, trainees will emerge with industry-recognized credentials and a career pathway built on the solid foundation of work-based learning. The grant also allows Dallas College to develop and offer competency-driven, work-based learning opportunities to train unemployed or underemployed workers. As a result, Dallas College will help drive a cultural shift with employers to hire people with untapped talent and great potential while recalibrating employers' job criteria around valuable experience and competency-based skill sets.

For employers, the grant helps streamline workforce hiring and training while taking advantage of industry-driven approaches to scale a workforce education model that provides an immediate pool of workers for today and skilled talent for tomorrow. Employers and industry organizations are invited to indicate their interest in the project by filling out this interest form

“Grantees will work together toward a coordinated approach to preparing a skilled workforce within an economic region," Dallas College said in its winning application. “[Success] will require the building of sustainable partnerships across educational institutions, employers, local workforce development boards, industry associations and other relevant entities to promote cross-sector workforce training initiatives."

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