The grand opening of a new Workforce Solutions office drew a big crowd on South Buckner Boulevard Friday, partly because it was directly on target with a Dallas ‘Pleasant Grove Now’ crusade for jobs.
North Texas enjoys tremendous job growth and economic prosperity but the Pleasant Grove area of Southeast Dallas has lagged behind surrounding communities the past few decades.
‘Pleasant Grove Now’ is a drive to bring better employers, jobs and wages to the area.
“We’ve got great workers here and we need to bring business down here and we’ve got to bring the quality of life things with them, retail,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.
Workforce Solutions matches employers with people seeking jobs and job training.
Bianca Martinez and Veronica Garcia were the first clients. They want to become bilingual teachers.
“I love children and I love my community and I’m looking really forward to accomplishing that,” Martinez said.
They’ve already received high school diplomas through courses at the Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus down the street, but they need financial help for the next step of teacher’s aide training courses.
Workforce Solutions can help provide it.
“We came and talked to the people here and everybody was really nice and really helpful. And we’re really excited about everything,” Martinez said.
Pleasant Grove has good schools where young teacher aides would be welcome. It has good neighborhoods with nice parks and neighborhood watch crime fighting programs.
Bruton Terrace Neighborhood Watch President Ted Burns attended the Workforce Solutions ribbon cutting.
“We’re getting neighbors involved now in Pleasant Grove, where before they were not involved,” Burns said. “We’ve been working on this and wanting this to come here for a pretty good while.”
The new office was a rundown former city library.
“This is a shot in the arm for a community right here, just to get this building renovated,” said Dallas City Councilman Rickey Callahan, who represents Pleasant Grove.
Workforce Solutions is operated by the Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board, a nonprofit corporation in the State of Texas.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said North Texas has the best job growth in the nation right now and a goal is to see more workers enjoy wage growth because of it.
“It’s not going to be always that we are the number one place in America with the hottest economy. So we’ve to strike while the iron is hot.” Jenkins said.
The new Pleasant Grove Workforce Solutions office may help.
“It’s encouraging for people, so we can be successful and build our community,” Martinez said.