Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Dallas College on Monday announced they have partnered with Cicero Group to conduct a study assessing the state of the City’s workforce.
The study is funded by a $100K grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of its larger commitment to innovative career and technical education programs. Cicero Group will conduct the study and will look at how the pandemic has impacted workforce and available jobs, identify the growing sectors in our city, and assess skills gaps.
Cicero Group will also make concrete, actionable recommendations for how the City and other partners can move the needle on the issue. Dallas College will manage the grant.
“I am incredibly excited to move forward with this study, which will give us the opportunity to understand how we can tap into our city’s greatest asset: our strong, resilient, dynamic people,” Mayor Johnson said. “Because that is what workforce development is about: investing in people. People like my parents. People like my neighbors growing up in Oak Cliff and West Dallas. And, of course, all the people who have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking for a way forward in this new world.”
“Thank you to Dallas College, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Cicero Group for partnering with us on this effort, which can help guide our policy-making and job training efforts in the years to come.”
Mayor Johnson has made workforce development a top priority. He created the City Council’s first-ever Workforce, Education, and Equity Committee, chaired by Councilmember Casey Thomas. The mayor also advocated for Dallas ISD to expand its Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program for criminal justice. And he created Dallas Works, a summer jobs program to teach career and life skills to young people.
The mayor began discussions about funding and conducting a workforce study in late 2019, but those efforts were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dallas College Chancellor Dr. Joe May, Chairman Thomas, and Kerri Briggs, a partner with the Cicero Group, joined Mayor Johnson on Monday for a news conference announcing the study. Cicero Group, The Commit Partnership, Dallas Thrives, and other partners will work with Dallas College to help guide the study.
“COVID-19 has changed our business landscape and has accelerated some changes that were already underway, such as automation. We need to be at the forefront of these changes so Dallas and its people can continue to thrive,” said Dr. May. “Along with the mayor and our wonderful partners, we are ready to embrace this challenge and help our city tap into its full potential.”
“The last year has been hard for our students and young adults who are trying to make important decisions about their future in the midst of historic change,” said Todd Williams, founding Chairman, CEO and President of The Commit Partnership. “Helping them understand which jobs and sectors are projected to grow as we emerge from the pandemic is essential to achieving our goal of doubling living wage attainment in generation. We look forward to partnering with Dallas College and the Mayor’s Office on this important work.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this important work, which will prioritize solutions to the city’s workforce challenges,” said Briggs. “We know Mayor Johnson’s vision is for an inclusive economy, and we support that. In working with city leaders, education and civic organizations, and the private sector, we intend to generate recommendations that will ensure the city’s economic opportunities are accessible to all those who live here and represent the diversity that makes this city great.”