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Google boosts nonprofit skilled workforce training programs in North Texas

Written by Mindia Whittier

Two local organizations will receive a combined $150,000.

Two Dallas-based organizations have announce they will receive support from Google for skilled-trade education and workforce development in the area.

The Regional Black Contractors Association (RBCA) Community Development Corporation and the United Way Metropolitan Dallas– Southern Dallas Thrives’ Women in Construction Initiative will each receive funding to boost pre-apprenticeship programs offered by the organizations to North Texans. These organizations partner with contractors and local unions in the area to place graduates in full time jobs where they can continue their journeys to stable careers in construction and the skilled trades.

Google, which has a data center in Midlothian, will allocate $50,000 to the United Way Metropolitan Dallas-Southern Dallas Thrives’ Women in Construction Initiative and $100,000 in funding to the RBCA Community Development Corporation.  

RBCA advocates for and advances the development and growth of African-American owned businesses. United Way Metropolitan Dallas works to strengthen education, income and health in the community.

“We are proud to call Ellis County home and are committed to providing much-needed resources to benefit North Texas,” Suzanne Lindsay, Regional Head of Workforce Development for Google, said. “By supporting pre-apprenticeship programs in this area, we hope to bolster training opportunities in construction trades and create a community with ample opportunity for career development,”

The support from Google will help the United Way Metropolitan Dallas- Southern Dallas Thrives Initiative  improve access and opportunity for women to train for and advance in the high-growth construction and skilled-trade industries. The United Way Metropolitan Dallas will also explore opportunities to partner with local skilled-trade industry leaders to expand the impact of the Women in Construction Program and increase efficiency by boosting community outreach, wraparound services including transportation and childcare, and providing program completion stipends for participants in the construction workforce program.

“The training provided by the RBCA Community Development Corporation and Southern Dallas Thrives not only helps traditionally underrepresented members of the community move into family-wage career paths, but it also boosts the local economy,” said Lindsay.

The support from Google will also help the RBCA Community Development Corporation expand their services.  The RBCA Community Development Corporation is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated people and other underserved and underemployed individuals in the Dallas area rebuild their lives by creating a pipeline of college-certified workers who are ready for on-the-job training through their “Second Chance” program, a comprehensive workforce development model that trains participants in the construction and skilled trades via pre-apprenticeships.  Services include job placement assistance, access to health care, transportation, meals, driver license reinstatement, and obtaining a certification of high school equivalency.

“For many members of the Dallas community, the ‘Second Chance’ program is a pathway to a stable income and economic independence,” Kim Shaw, President at RBCA Community Development Corporation, said. “This support from Google will help expand the services we provide to program participants, which will ultimately help them combat economic instability, housing insecurity, mental health issues, and strengthen the family unit and reduce crime.” 

These funds are part of a larger effort to connect more Americans to quality training and jobs. This year, Google is contributing $1.2 million dollars in five states where it operates data centers toward vocational education and pre-apprenticeship training programs for construction and skilled trades.

“This boost from Google will help us reach more women in our community who have traditionally lacked access to the training and support needed to get into the trades and construction industry,” Ashley Douglas, Sr. Director at Southern Dallas Thrives said. “Our training programs are designed to help women obtain meaningful careers in jobs that offer security and upward mobility, but most importantly, help them to achieve financial stability to provide for themselves and their families.”

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Mindia Whittier