Author Archives: lblarrea

City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Dallas, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas

Contact Person:
Laurie Bouillion Larrea

Contact Information:
Laurie Bouillion Larrea
Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas
500 N. Akard, Suite 3030
Dallas, TX 75201

Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings

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Sector Strategies

The Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Workforce Leadership Council (RWLC) is the driving force for a cooperative approach to promoting the region’s strongest industries. Following the industry cluster concept popularized by Michael Porter and the directives of Governor Rick Perry’s Industry Cluster Initiative, the RWLC has focused on supporting the region’s key clusters. The RWLC works to meet industries’ needs through the collaboration of the local workforce boards, chambers of commerce and business leaders. By addressing the employment, training and certification needs of the region’s industries, the RWLC aids in the further growth and success of the Dallas/Fort Worth economy. To date, the RWLC has received over $12 million in grants for training and educational initiatives that meet the needs of DFW regional employers.  Existing Sectors include Aerospace, Healthcare, Logistics Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Technology!  Read all about it



Richland College – Garland Campus has become the “go to place” for young adults to receive short term training, obtaining good wages to the start of a sustainable career.  Richland College Garland Campus is a WFSDallas youth contractor offering  GED coupled with innovative vocational and workplace skills training that addresses the skilled labor gap for disconnected youth in Dallas County.  One initiative that Richland College Garland Campus offers includes a 12 week, 40 hr/week Machine Operator certificate program.  This program offers young adults an opportunity to attend an employer based program and the ability to start their career in manufacturing.  The youth program offers a certificate which includes OSHA 10, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) certification, a forklift certification, hands on machine shop training in a state of the art machine shop, and a two week hands on internship.  The demand for this training is so high in the Garland community, that students often have employment before the end of the training.   Employers are calling—“when is the next class, I need to hire people now.”   Previous students are now hiring, mentoring, and training new students.  This program is truly a great reward for students and staff.  The success contributes to economic development for the community, allowing young adults the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a strong industry, strong workforce, and a stable future.  One individual, Joshua Gillipsie, was struggling to complete high school.  Richland’s youth program not only assisted Joshua to complete high school, he also completed the machine operator program and was hired at Halliburton making $14/hr.

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Individuals with Disabilities

In 1982, Dallas Mayor Jack Evans founded The Dallas Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities.  He created the organization to help Dallas become an exemplary city for the modern world. Over time, the name has changed but the mission remains the same – work to advance employment opportunities for people with different abilities.  WFSDallas proudly serves as a member of the Committee – now called EmployAbility.  Former Mayor Steve Bartlett re-energized the commitment during his term 91-95, and harkened back to his experience and contribution to the Americans with Disabilities Act when he served as Representative Bartlett, the ranking minority member of the Select Education Subcommittee, and strongly credited with negotiating principle bipartisan issues that did not weaken the bill.  He was a constant champion, and a voice in our community for implementation.  As with every Mayor since Mr. Bartlett, our Mayor Mike Rawlings took up this commitment to Employment of people in Dallas – with all types of abilities.  Let me also state that we have an intense, well informed and diverse advocate community in Dallas, and our workforce system hopes we are considered in that number.

Dallas workforce is a population of adults and youth who need to work and want to work – not dissected by economics, race, age or disabilities.  We concentrate on the workers ability to perform the job.  We have an extensive reach into the Dallas county employer community – 11,031, in our most recent 12 months (July 14-June 15).  That’s a rich resource, and represents real jobs!  Our databases are brimming with jobs that cannot be filled.   We have maintained a Disability Navigator who is a champion of the system, convener or participant in regular meetings, an advocate for the customers, instructor of our workforce system and case managers, and our expert on accessibility in technology.  In 12 years, we continued and broadened our reach in the community.   In recent months, the team has grown to eight full time talent development specialists concentrating on job matching for people with disabilities.  The main objective  is employer engagement.

Opportunity Center Hiring Event – 95 job seekers arrived greeted by 18 employers, including The Joule Hotel, Whelan Security, FedEx Ground, CVS Health, Pro-Collect, Lazer Spot, Gate Gourmet, Rising Star, E-Tech, H&R Block, Dallas Housing Authority, Hilton Anatole, Driving Momentum, Omni Hotels, TXU, DARS and Goodwill Industries.  We can do great things working together.  In the past year, through existing strategies our system served 500 persons with disabilities.  Our embrace for people with disabilities in the workforce existed long before recent state legislation, and will endure and benefit from upcoming change!  Texas legislation will implement a new collaboration September 2016.

Employer Customized Training

Kraft Foods has had a manufacturing plant in Garland since 1949 that primarily produced BBQ Sauce and Velveeta Cheesy Skillets.  Earlier this year, Kraft decided to expand the plant due to a growing popularity of Lunchables product line.   In June 2015, Kraft expanded the Lunchables production network to include four new Lunchables production lines that will bring an additional 400-500 jobs to Garland, Texas. With this expansion, production and electro-mechanical skills will be required of the current workers.  Richland College-Garland campus designed a 380 hr. customized program to address skill sets to create a proficient production Line Technician program.

The Garland area manufacturers have a long lasting partnership with WFSDallas and Richland College.  This partnership has come together after years of collaboration and we are viewed as a source of dependable, high-quality training.

The Kraft project perfectly captures the spirit of the new WIOA legislation by bringing together employers, the community college system and workforce development.  In addition, WFSDallas will leverage multiple funding streams to focus on meeting the needs of this employer:  TWC Skills Development, WIOA Youth, WIOA Adult and AEL.

The measurable results included 97 current employees trained, 7 Veterans,  2,000 referrals,  600 Referrals/Production Tech, 11 Rapid Response Hires, Onsite English Language Acquisition (in development).  Thus far, there have been 150 hires within this project.

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