There are a lot of jobs available across Dallas, right now, according to some city leaders. However, access to those jobs is among some of the big challenges job seekers say they are facing.
“That’s all I need is a chance,” said Obrian Thompson as he sat before some career counselors in an office at Red Bird Mall.
Thompson, 29, says finding a job is key. Trying to land decent work with a living wage has been tough for the young father, who wants to find a position in a warehouse or operating a forklift. Lately, Thompson has been bringing his five-month-old daughter along to interviews because child care is too expensive.
“It’s a little challenging,” Thompson explained. “But, you know, when she is smiling, and she’s good, I’m good.”
The challenges of transportation, child care, skills, and schedules are not uncommon for many candidates trying to get into the workforce, especially in southern Dallas.
“One of the biggest challenges I see is getting people to believe in themselves,” said Curtis Corbins, President of Southern Dallas Link.
Corbins is part of a team of community organizers who are actively connecting job-seekers with employers.
“People will get jobs and they may last a couple of weeks,” Corbins said. “But there are so many other underlying factors that may hinder them from longtime employment.”
Making sure residents have the resources needed to land jobs and compete is why District 3 Councilman Casey Thomas and the City of Dallas hosted a workforce readiness summit on Thursday.
The summit includes a job training vendor fair that will allow residents to sign up for job training programs that could help boost job skills.
“If we’re going to attract Amazon and other companies -- not only to Dallas, but to southern Dallas where we have plenty of land -- we’ve got to have an educated, qualified workforce,” Thomas said.
Thompson believes job seekers can benefit from a workforce readiness program. For now, it appears he is all set to begin a new job next week.
The workforce readiness summit is being held at the Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center in Oak Cliff from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.