Voices

Dallas Regional Chamber Deploys Bot to Connect Displaced Workers With Jobs

Job listings are updated every five to 10 seconds, helping workers displaced by COVID-19 to quickly find work.

The century-old Dallas Regional Chamber has brought in autonomous software to fuel a microsite geared toward helping workers displaced by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In roughly a week’s time, DRC staff worked with Dallas website consultant David Fares, founder of DS Fares Consulting. In true startup fashion, the team populated a site for displaced workers who need:

• leads for in-demand jobs;
• access to online courses to upskill into high-demand, well-paying jobs;
• child care, for parents involved in essential work; and
• links to allow workers to file for unemployment claims.

The microsite lives here, as part of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s “Say Yes to Dallas” talent retention and attraction initiative.

“In about a week, our staff has expanded the Dallas Regional Chamber’s ‘Say Yes’ site to make it a one-stop resource for the thousands of workers whose positions were reduced or eliminated with the downturn of the economy,” Drexell Owusu, senior vice president of Education and Workforce for the Dallas Regional Chamber, says. “And to fill the positions created by the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Owusu notes that many of the full-time and part-time jobs have been posted following the increase of COVID-19 cases in the region. “Based on our preliminary analysis, it appears that the bulk of these positions provide essential services to the economy of the Dallas region,” he says.

Fares says the site uses an autonomous web scraper that updates job listings every five to 10 seconds.

“The site combines an automated job feed provided by Indeed.com, with direct listings from local companies, and presents them on the Say Yes ‘Connecting Displaced Workers to Jobs’ site,” Fares wrote in an email to Dallas Innovates. Jobs range from part-time shelf stockers at grocers to full-time phlebotomists, and business-development specialists to full-time delivery drivers.

‘Say Yes to Dallas’ is the region’s talent retention and attraction resource

The Say Yes site still functions as a resource for companies or individuals seeking to relocate to the Dallas region.

The Chamber, founded in 1909, is also working with Uber Works to connect employers with workers. Uber Work connects shift workers looking for temporary employment in general labor, customer service, production, and commercial cleaning with participating employers. Uber Works is currently operating in Dallas, the Chicago region, and Miami.

“We are excited about the opportunity to use the Uber Works platform to connect workers with employers, especially during this turbulent time,” Owusu says. “The ease of service for everyone involved should enable people to earn income while keeping our businesses operating effectively.”

Dallas Innovates is a collaboration of D Magazine Partners and the Dallas Regional Chamber.

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Dave Moore has 30 years’ experience in writing, editing, reporting, and analysis. He’s traveled to Bosnia to observe efforts to boost the country’s post-Soviet economy, explored the causes of ho(...)

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