Thought Leaders: Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas

Q+A | Musings on innovation from the region's paradigm-shifting companies and organizations.

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Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas (WFSDallas) is one of the largest non-profit organizations in Dallas, braiding public and private resources in talent development for over 35 years! WFSDallas manages an extensive and inclusive workforce development system, complementing the robust economic development of the region. Employers find talent here, and individuals find jobs, skills, education and assistance to work.

Laurie Bouillion Larrea: President of WFSDallas

How does your company contribute to the talent pool in Dallas-Fort Worth?

We take a holistic view of talent, including front line workers and their untapped potential. Walmart granted WFSDallas resources to upskill retail workers to qualify for supervisor and manager jobs. “Retail Pays” includes the Online Skills Academy powered by Penn Foster, with 24/7 access to industry-recognized certifications; and Customer Service, Supervisor and Retail Management certifications through the Dallas County Community College District.

Laurie Bouillion Larrea [Image: Courtesy Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas]

How is your company positioned to lead the tech workforce in 2020 in Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond?

Flexibility is key! Retail Pays offers upskilling solutions to inflexible work schedules, managing commuting and family obligations. Online upskilling for retail workers develops higher-level supervisors and managers, with tech skills. WFSDallas pursues partnerships with technology training providers to ensure inclusion and equality by fostering digital literacy.

What trends do you foresee in the future of work?

Our system provides talent to thousands of employers; and similar to retail, changes abound in most industries. Efficiencies and practical innovations in technology are themes throughout. Despite disruptions, employers request similar skills across industries—critical thinking, written and oral communication, and use of technology as a primary tool. Workplace success in the future will belong to the lifelong learner!

How will job roles evolve as a result of technology, and how are you keeping up?

Technology is pervasive in work, especially in retail. Work experience, skills acquisition and demonstration, are critical. Retail Pays exists to upskill talent using technology. WFSDallas is building a network of online learning options for workers at all levels. Skills development matters most to those who are least likely to enjoy continuous learning. We strongly believe working alongside foundations, government and employer-funded initiatives will develop tech talent excellence.

A version of this Thought Leaders article was first published in Dallas Innovates: The [Tech] Talent Issue.


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Dallas Innovates: The [Tech] Talent Issue, a special edition of the Dallas Innovates magazine, looks at how companies in Dallas-Fort Worth are attracting and retaining the best talent. From corporate stalwarts to startups, social impact and conscious capitalism-driven businesses to nonprofits, Dallas Innovates: The [Tech] Talent issue takes a deep dive into the companies and people that are continuously making Dallas-Fort Worth a force for the future.

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