Dallas County's College-for-all Effort Gets a Big Push From One of America's Largest Companies

It’s been a banner year for Dallas County Promise -- a not-yet-year-old effort to send every graduating senior to college for free at nearly three dozen Dallas County high schools.And it keeps getting better.On Monday, the organization held a event at Brookhaven College celebrating its latest success, landing a $3 million gift from its first corporate partner, JPMorgan Chase.The funds -- according to Eric Ban, the Promise’s managing director -- will be used for IT and data support, and more staff to help scale its mentoring efforts.One of the desires of the program is to pair students with a mentor in their field of study.But that’s not a small task: the county’s public high schools will graduate 15,000 students.The Promise will hold a “Career Mentor Summit” in early August at the Dallas Regional Chamber, hoping to connect talent officers and human resource directors from some of the area’s largest businesses to its efforts.“We need to get the big employers together and talk about how we do this,” Ban said. “So, from now until August, there’s a lot of planning that’s going to go on. ... Whatever we do at Dallas County Promise, we have to do at scale.”JPMorgan Chase’s chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, joined Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for a discussion on the importance of industry, government and educational agencies joining forces to address workforce needs in the coming years.“If you don’t get collaboration between business and government, it simply doesn’t work,” Dimon said.While Dallas’ economy has made it one of the nation’s top regions for job growth in recent years, many of those positions haven’t been filled by its graduates. The number of people living in poverty in Dallas County has increased 42 percent over the last 15 years. And roughly ¾ of the county’s high school graduates from the Class of 2010 are without a 2- or 4-year college degree or credential.Dimon also stressed the need of connecting with grassroots organizations -- like Dallas-area education non-profit Commit and the Dallas County Community College District -- to affect change.  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us