By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

South of I-30 sits Southern Dallas County, a , 486-mile area with rich culture and history. It is larger than the entire city of Atlanta, but unfortunately, has been historically underserved and lacks the same essential amenities as the northern sector of Dallas. In 2021, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) began taking business leaders on buses for Southern Dallas County Vision Tours. The DRC has conducted 11 Southern Dallas County Vision Tours in 2022, with a group from the Dallas Mavericks the most recent visitors on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Vision tours provide business leaders the chance to see the beauty and opportunity in Southern Dallas County as well as visit with local small business owners who are working hard in the community they love. The tour also addresses some of the issues facing Southern Dallas County, including a lack of transportation to living-wage jobs, lack of access to health care nearby, and lack of higher quality educational institutions.

Esposure

The Mavs tour began in Duncanville at the Esposure Arena, where the group saw a new concept of gaming. Esposure Founder and CEO Danny Martin created a global esports technology company with an “education to entertainment” ecosystem (E2E) focused on developing the next generation of esports professionals and competitive gamers. Students get the opportunity to learn life skills through gaming, including graphic design, building a brand, and marketing. Esposure is currently partnering with several school districts around the state to provide a pipeline from high school to job experience training.

“Our goal is to actively help schools,” Martin said. “We wanted to create a platform that gives students the actual skills and experience while they’re also learning.”

The bus then headed to the old Redbird Mall and visited the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), where local small businesses can rent an office, meet fellow business owners, and build their business at an affordable price.

Peter Brodsky, Owner and Developer of Red Bird Mall, joined the tour to give an update on the property and surrounding area. Brodsky purchased the mall in 2015, with hopes of revitalizing a once promising Southern Dallas County landmark. The area touts one of the busiest Starbucks in the city – and the only free-standing Starbucks south of I-30.

“Red Bird is really about bringing those quality amenities to the community,” Brodsky said. “The idea of this development is really simple. South of I-30 is widely misunderstood by the affluent white community of north Dallas. It is also a place that has been intentionally suppressed for decades through explicit and intentional policies of the city, the county, and the state.”

The DEC@Redbird

Brodsky has also developed a high-end apartment complex that is at 100% capacity and will be adding a Marriot hotel – the only high-end hotel south of I-30 – next to the mall. UT Southwestern Medical Center also opened its largest clinic in the old Sears store.

One of Brodsky’s biggest projects is bringing a grocery store to the area, fulfilling a desperate need for residents. In 2018, the Department of Agriculture identified 88 separate food deserts in Dallas County, with more than half of them south of I-30.

The tour continued at the 4315 Innovation Center in East Oak Cliff, where participants were able to see Dallas College STEM classes and hear from Terrance Southern, the Founder and Executive Director of Illuminate STEM. Illuminate STEM’s mission is to encourage, empower, and equip K-12 students from underrepresented communities through problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and machine automation. Illuminate STEM is currently partnering with Kimball and Lincoln high schools in Dallas ISD and offers weekend programming for students.

The group stopped at the site of the future home of the Southern Gateway Park near the Dallas Zoo, a new deck park styled after Klyde Warren Park that will offer food, entertainment, walking trails, and plenty of greenspace.

The tour continued to west Dallas, where the Mavs visited with James Armstrong, President and CEO of Builders of Hope. Since 1998, Builders of Hope has committed itself exclusively to fighting poverty in Dallas through the development of affordable housing, providing much needed services for low-income homebuyers, workforce development, and fostering community pride in the local. The nonprofit’s goal is to help build generational wealth through homeownership.

The tour wrapped up at the Holocaust and Human Rights Museum in Dallas. On the way to the museum, UT Arlington Professor Dr. Hannah Lebovits discussed gentrification and racist/hate policies that are still affecting the City of Dallas and its citizens today. At the museum, the group learned what it meant to be an upstander and a bystander; upstanders are the people who make a difference by helping those less fortunate, no matter the cost.

To learn more or get involved in Southern Dallas County, visit our Southern Dallas County Economic Development Guide.

Nicole Ward, Data Journalist

The December 16 deadline for developers to submit proposals to turn the empty land around six light-rail stations into new transit-oriented developments, is fast approaching.

Six Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) stations were deemed by the city to be underutilized and prime spots for development of mixed-income housing, including five locations south of Interstate 30.

“Southern Dallas is an important asset to our region,” said Latosha Herron Bruff, SVP Inclusion and Community Engagement at the Dallas Regional Chamber. “To ensure its continued growth and economic vibrancy, we must continue to prioritize new development that will support job creation and economic mobility for current and future residents.”

In March, the DRC launched the Southern Dallas County Economic Development Guide, an online resource that highlights communities, real estate, employers, and talent across 12 cities and 486 square miles. 

The development opportunity was announced in August after sites were identified by the Office of Economic Development, Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, Planning and Urban Design Department, and Development Services Department, in partnership with DART. Each development should be site-specific and in-line with the city’s vision for that area. If the winning plan calls for rezoning, the city has said it is committed to expediting the process.

Current DART station properties eyed for development:

If the projects are successful, the same strategy could be applied to other DART stations in the future.

Developers have until Friday, Dec. 16, to submit their proposals here.

Tell us about your business.

KEIRUS BY KJE is a woman-owned and led strategy consulting and leadership development firm specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our team has over 50 years of experience in DEI executive leadership, global human resources management, Ph.D. research, learning and development, and corporate communications. We combine our expertise and credibility with integrity to provide a clear path for organizations to achieve results, with care being the foundation of our process.

What differentiates your company from others in your industry?

Kelley Johnson, CEO

Our expertise, track record of demonstrated results, and ability to adapt solutions to our clients’ needs set us apart. Our hearts are in the work we do, which drives our desire to be agile thought partners who intuitively change organizations from within. We are not a novice to the benefits of DEI, and we genuinely want to help organizations evolve and become spaces where employees can bring their whole selves to work while performing at their best. We have seen the benefits of our transformation process because we do not approach DEI from a surface perspective. Our differentiation is not in what we say but in what our clients express to us throughout our multi-year journey with them.

What do you enjoy most about doing business in the Dallas Region?

As a descendant of former sharecroppers from the historic White Rock Settlement in North Dallas, I have a personal connection to this city and the entire Dallas Region. I appreciate the diversified organizations and industries we have been able to support throughout our existence as a firm. Dallas is exceptional because we feel the synergy of innovation constantly originating here. Dallas is a transplant hub of people from all over the country, and that collective embodies our calling.

Why did you decide to become a member of the DRC?

The power of community, networking, and relationships has been foundational to our firm, and we want to always remain connected to other business leaders within the Dallas Region to support and encourage as we employ others to make a positive difference in our region.

How has your business changed in the past five years?

We have changed, expanded, and shifted significantly over the past five years. Our firm began in 2015 when I transitioned from a C-level DEI leadership role to start, KJE, a strategy and consulting firm that was bountiful. However, 2020 was pivotal to the growth of our firm as a new awareness about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion became undeniable after the racial tensions caused by the George Floyd tragedy. The last three years exhibited an uptick of awareness about the importance of valuing uniqueness in the workplace along with the disturbance to employee retention and recruiting caused by the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and subsequent Great Resignation. In 2022, we evolved into KEIRUS BY KJE, encompassing our focus on grace, goodwill, and kindness and are tech-enabled through our new digital platform.

What are you looking forward to most in 2023 for your business?

We plan to share the KEIRUS platform on a greater scale and onboard new clients so they can experience our curated, five-year learning journey that focuses on individual and organizational transformation. We are also excited about our new ERG Leadership Development program, continued partnership with Leadership Dallas through our Inclusive Leadership training and other opportunities to be thought leaders and educators around DEI through our community engagements that amplify our message of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Anything else you would like to add about your business?

Investing in DEI should yield an ROI, but many organizations unfortunately are not experiencing the benefits of their initiative and they are unsure of their next steps in the process. As we head into 2023, we want to avail ourselves to these organizations to help them level up their DEI strategies. DEI is more than a feel good or check-the-box exercise. We are interested in helping organizations transform their culture in distinct and measurable ways.

Native American Heritage Month is celebrated every November to honor the many contributions Indigenous people have made to the United States.

Across the country, there are 574 federally recognized Native American tribes, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Three federally recognized tribes live on reservations in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta, Tigua, and Kickapoo. North Texas was the original home of many tribes, including the Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, Tawakoni, and Wichita.

The 1841 Battle of Village Creek, on the border of present-day Fort Worth and Arlington, was one of the final acts of removal of Native Americans in North Texas. After Congress passed the Indian Relocation Act to encourage Native Americans to move into urban centers, including Dallas, in 1956, over 10,000 people from 82 tribes moved to the area. By 1983, about 20,000 Native Americans – or half of Texas’ Native American population – were living in West Oak Cliff and East Dallas. Today, Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up roughly 1% of the total U.S. population and the figure increases to 2.6% when two or more races are included. In the Dallas Region, Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up .08% of the population, and 2.3% when including two or more races.

National efforts to honor Native Americans began in 1914, when Red Fox Skiuhushu, of the Blackfeet tribe, traveled from state to state on horseback to advocate for a dedicated day of observance. He secured endorsements from 24 state governments, and New York was the first state to celebrate “American Indian Day” in May 1916, with many other states following suit.

By 1986, Congress had extended the holiday to a week. Then in 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared November to be Native American Heritage Month. The City of Dallas recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time in 2019.

As we progress through the month of November, the Dallas Regional Chamber is proud to celebrate the Native American community in our region. Below are more resources to learn about observing Native American Heritage Month, especially in the workplace.

Read and Watch:

Events:

Ways to Engage:

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

The Dallas Region continues to experience rapid job growth, and businesses are working constantly to keep up with the demand for talent. Since 2010, 222 companies have moved to the Dallas Region, creating more than one million jobs. The Dallas Region is also No. 1 in the nation in three-year job gains, with employment numbers exceeding the pre-pandemic levels.

With so many new jobs in the area, talent in the Dallas Region has its choice on where to work. So how are companies making themselves stand out? That was the topic of conversation at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Talent Attraction Talk, presented by BGSF, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Furniture Marketing Group.

BGSF Senior Vice President of Strategic Customers Stuart Sides moderated a panel featuring GEICO Human Resources Director Tish Brown, Furniture Marketing Group Director of Workplace Strategy Jim Rainbolt-Bailey, and Jenell Rayford, Talent Acquisition Manager at Southwest Airlines. Topics ranged from workplace arrangements to career development and pathways for talent.

Three discussion takeaways:

Is the Great Resignation over?

Not yet, it is all dependent on the employee. With all the new jobs in the region, employees know they have the power to choose the job that is right for them both short and long term. Therefore, it is important for employers to be flexible to each team member.

“When we think about what happened during the pandemic, workers really understood their power when it comes to the demands they take to their employer,” Brown said. “Whether or not I am going to work in the office, whether or not I am going to work hybrid, or some combination of the two, employers have to shift in order to make sure they are able to retain their talent.”

How has the landscape changed for hiring managers since the start of the pandemic?

Hiring managers need to have more flexibility and rethink what is “required” when looking for candidates for open positions.

“Before the pandemic, typically an employee would have a four-year degree with certifications and work experience,” Rayford said. “Now we see not everyone has the necessary work experience required, so we try to balance out education levels versus work experience. If we see a good candidate who may not be a perfect match, we now try and find a way to help them get certifications and help them grow in the company.”

Southwest uses a “job architecture” program to find the right balance for education and skill set for roles to help employees grow in the company. A Linkedin Workforce Learning Report found that 93% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their careers.

With hybrid work becoming the norm after the pandemic, what are current trends and workplace designs of the future?

Working a remote or a hybrid schedule is one of the main attractions to job seekers since the pandemic started. A DRC Future of Work survey conducted in April showed that 62% of respondents offer arrangements with workers in the office one to three days a week.

“As we try to figure out how hybrid works for our organizations, know that no two strategies are going to work the same. Each business is different and has different needs, a cookie cutter approach won’t work,” Rainbolt-Bailey said. “It goes back to honest conversations. What are we trying to accomplish? Make a policy, put that policy in place.”

Rainbolt-Bailey also noted his company has monthly conversations about where it is and where it’s headed. FMG is taking a “if we build it will they come, or if they come will we build it” approach to office workplace designs and lifestyle.

Read more about how to adapt to the workplace of the future, and how to incorporate the DRC’s Say Yes to Dallas campaign into your talent recruitment program.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

Gus Cabarcas, Northeast Texas Regional Coordinator

The Dallas Region is home to over 358,000 veterans (2022 est.) according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s nearly a quarter of Texas’ entire veteran population. With such a large community living in our region, the Dallas Regional Chamber is proud to support Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11.

The DRC recently spoke with Gus Cabarcas, Northeast Texas Regional Coordinator for Combined Arms, on the importance of celebrating Veterans Day and how we can help those who have served our country.

Read more about the conversation below.

Why is it important to recognize Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is a reminder that freedom is not free. It is an opportunity to commemorate the contributions of living veterans publicly and to show appreciation toward them. If you find a veteran, ask them a few questions. Ask them when they served, where they served, what branch they served, what they did while they served, and finally, thank them for their service.

How can businesses address the challenges within the veteran community? What are businesses doing right? What are the areas of improvement?

Businesses can seek military/veteran talent for open positions, adopt a veteran resource group, and volunteer in the veteran community. These are all things that Combined Arms/Texas Veterans Network can help with.

Please share with us some veteran-serving organizations in the Dallas Region you support. Why do you support them?

The TVN’s network is 240 best-in-class veteran-serving organizations, 72 of which are in the DFW area. CLC, Texas Veterans Commission, Wounded Warrior Project, and Texas lawyers for Texas Veterans are our top requested organizations in North Texas.

What moment in your career shaped its current trajectory? How do you stay motivated now and in the future?

I am an Army veteran who, on Sept. 11th, 2001, while serving as a New York City Police Sergeant, personally experienced and witnessed the attacks on the World Trade Center. I’d say serving in both capacities instilled a sense of service that I could never walk away from.

I’m one of many veterans that are continuing service by giving back to our communities and connecting veterans to resources that they have earned.

Read more on how to support a veteran and other veteran’s resources here.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

Job growth, talent, and quality of life were the focus of conversation at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) Q3 Tomorrow Fund Breakfast event, presented by Holmes Murphy, on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

DRC Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce Jarrad Toussant hosted a panel that discussed the local job market and talent with Amazon Senior Economic Development Manager Jessica Breaux and Jennifer Chandler, Dallas Market President of Bank of America.

The biggest takeaway: Invest in your local talent and watch your business succeed.

Bank of America is investing in its people by raising its minimum wage to $25 an hour by 2025, offering tuition reimbursement, and 16-week maternity leave. The company has also created Tech University, where employees take courses designed to better their future with careers in IT or coding. Additionally, Bank of America is also working with Dallas ISD Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) students, as they earn college credit and gain relevant work experience in an aligned career pathway.

“The jobs of the future are not the jobs of today,” Chandler said. “The investment into our staff and into their skills is really important to me.”

Amazon’s Career Choice program is designed for fulfillment center workers to go back to school or receiving training for in-demand fields, such as IT, with tuition fully covered by Amazon. There is no obligation for the employee to continue a career at Amazon upon graduation, allowing for a new career in the employee’s desired field.

“For a lot of the associates in our fulfillment centers, we recognize that is not where they want to spend the next 50 years of their career,” Breaux said. “They use this opportunity to make a career better suited for them.”

With a talent pool as diverse as the Dallas Region’s, both Breaux and Chandler recommend businesses have a diverse board that is reflective of the community and encourage tough conversations on how to inclusively move forward and attract the talent to the area.

Another key to success is the ability to adapt to change. The pandemic brought new challenges to the business community and changed how companies do business. One of the biggest changes for employees was remote work, which both Breaux and Chandler admitted was here to stay.

“I think the one of the changes from the pandemic was recognizing that every job isn’t the same,” Breaux said. “From the corporate perspective, we recognized that all teams were different and allowed each team to make the best decisions for them and their colleagues. I think the talent is looking for flexibility and I think remote work flexibility will be one of the criteria for the talent to decide on if they want to stay with a company going forward.”

From business to health care, entertainment and more, the Dallas Region is growing every day and has become a benchmark for other parts of the country looking to compete for talent. Both Breaux and Chandler believe Dallas should continue building on its success by remaining forward-thinking in how it approaches the race for talent.

Building Tomorrow Together Recognition

Holmes Murphy Vice President and Shareholder Steve Gwinn presented Ruiz Food President and CEO Dan Antonelli and Kroger Head of E-Commerce and Communications April Martin with the DRC’s Building Tomorrow Together Award for their contributions to the Dallas Region. Ruiz Food’s recently moved its headquarters to Frisco and Kroger built a state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Southern Dallas County.

The Dallas Region is home to over 358,000 veterans (2022 est.) according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s nearly a quarter of Texas’ entire veteran population. With such a large community living in our region, the Dallas Regional Chamber is proud to support Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11.

Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day began in 1919 to commemorate those who fought in World War I. President Woodrow Wilson chose Nov. 11 in recognition of the armistice agreement that ended the war. But as the decades progressed, the term “armistice” failed to account for soldiers involved in World War II and the Korean War. At the urging of veterans’ service organizations, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954 and released the first Veterans Day Proclamation honoring all American veterans of all wars.

Despite the long history of Veterans Day, veterans today face challenges upon completing their service and returning to civilian life, in health care, housing, and in the workplace. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the employment rate of veterans is 45.6%, compared to the 60.7% rate for civilians. To ensure that veterans are prioritized by their employers, companies can create policies that address veterans’ specific needs and allow them to capitalize on their unique skillsets.

Below are some resources to learn more about veterans and how to hire and support them in the workplace.

Read and Watch:

Events:

How to Hire and Support Veterans in the Workplace:

The Dallas Regional Chamber is thrilled to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated every October to honor the many contributions people with disabilities make to our communities.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month began as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week” in 1945. In the following years, several large strides were made to promote equal opportunity for, and prohibit discrimination against, those with disabilities. Some of those steps include the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Since 1945, awareness efforts have been expanded to include all disability types and to last the entire month of October. However, companies still have more to do to advocate for inclusivity.

This year, the theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” which celebrates the essential role individuals with disabilities play in the workplace. As we enter the month, employers can raise awareness by creating an employee resource group, educating their employees, and certifying that workplace policies contribute to an office culture that includes people regardless of their disability status. Below are some specific resources to aid in celebrating this meaningful month.

Read and Watch:

Events:

Ways to Engage:

      • Measure your disability inclusion – Take the Disability Equality Index assessment and develop your roadmap for disability inclusion.
      • Connect on social media – Use your social media platforms to highlight National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
      • Explore resources – Access the Disability Inclusion Toolkit from the Ford Foundation for guidance on creating accessible in-person and virtual events, social media, and disability inclusive employment practices from recruitment to retention.
      • Learn about history – Visit the Museum of disAbility History’s virtual museum and explore six different “wings” covering media, medicine, education, and more.

By Olympia Newman, Director of Leadership Programs

Now more than ever, young professionals are looking for connection, so it’s no surprise there are many more associations catering to this unique group.

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals (YP), a group of more than 400 members from diverse industries and backgrounds, is your go-to option for connection. YP members are committed to four core pillars — policy, networking, service, and leadership — so you’re set for long-term personal and professional growth.

Here are four ways to make the most of your YP experience:

  1. Attend events

YP membership is events-based, and events take place at least once a month. While members can pick and choose which events they want to attend, taking advantage of as many events as possible gives you the best experience. You will never discover a new interest unless you expose yourself to things outside your comfort zone.

  1. Network, network, network

Let’s face it — who really enjoys networking? It can make us feel phony and uncomfortable, but networking is a necessity that leads to more robust professional opportunities and connections. Each YP event has a networking component, so you’ll be a more confident networker in no time. The best networkers are active listeners and connectors, so when you are not the expert, look for ways to connect others.

  1. Take initiative

What better way to gain professional development than by taking advantage of opportunities others overlook. Volunteer for speaking roles at a YP event or moderate a panel. Also apply for LEAD YP, a six-month leadership development program, or consider joining the YP Advisory Council. Stepping up will allow you to develop skills in public speaking, collaboration, and leadership which you can leverage in advancing your career.

  1. Get others to join you

YP events are more fun when you’re surrounded by familiar faces. Don’t forget to ask your friends and colleagues to join YP, too. The only requirement is you must be age 22-40.

Joining YP is a fun and rewarding experience, but you get out of it what you put in. Make the most of your YP membership by being visible and stepping up! Learn more about YP here.

Michael Wood, Managing Director, Education & Workforce

The Texas Commission on Community College Finance has released its initial recommendations to reform the state’s funding model for two-year colleges.

The Commission, established by the 87th Texas Legislature, will now deliver a report, including funding recommendations for Texas’ public junior colleges, to lawmakers by Nov.1. The Commission is largely modeled after the Texas Commission on Public School Finance, whose deliberations ultimately led to the passage of the landmark school finance bill, House Bill 3, in 2019.

The Commission is hoping to replicate the success of its predecessor, whose efforts led to more than $6 billion in new funding for Texas’ public education system.

“The Texas Commission on Community College Finance is truly a once-in-a-career opportunity to transform a crucial component of our state’s higher education infrastructure,” said Jarrad Toussant, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce for the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC).

If enacted by Texas lawmakers, the Commission’s draft proposals would tie state funding for community colleges to student outcomes, increase access to financial aid offerings to improve community college affordability, and invest in institutional capacity to partner with employers and other community colleges.  To support the Commission’s efforts, the DRC has convened a working group of North Texas industry leaders since January to learn about the state’s community college funding model, meet with community college presidents and Commission members, and develop a set of recommendations for the Commission’s consideration.

Comprised of representatives from 12 DRC member companies, the working group has been the foremost business voice throughout the state advocating for strategic investments in Texas’ community colleges.

“In our rapidly evolving economy, community colleges play a more important role than ever,” said Belen Garren, North Texas Region Manager for JPMorgan Chase and DRC Board member. “Providing these institutions with sufficient and smart state funding will establish Texas as a leader in workforce development.”

The working group’s efforts included a letter to the Commission, expressing support for the initial recommendations and emphasizing several proposals of importance to the business community.

Specifically, the DRC’s working group encouraged the Commission to consider reforming and expanding outcomes-based funding for community colleges, targeting resources toward disadvantaged student populations, streamlining supports for employer-institution partnerships, and establishing dedicated authority over community colleges within the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Several of these proposals were included in the Commission’s initial recommendations.

“The Commission’s recommendations are highly aligned with the needs of the business community,” said Chris Peck, Senior Vice President and Dallas Office Leader for JE Dunn Construction. “The focus on outcomes and partnerships with employers will go a long way in addressing our region’s most pressing workforce needs.”

The DRC now eagerly awaits the Commission’s final report, which will guide state lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session as they seek to overhaul Texas’ community college finance system. The Commission is expected to approve their final report during an Oct.18 meeting.

To learn more about the Texas Commission on Community College Finance or the DRC’s related efforts, please contact Michael Wood, Managing Director of Education & Workforce, at mwood@dallaschamber.org.

By Sara Medina, Manager, Education & Workforce

When Dale Petroskey, the DRC’s President and CEO, served as Principal for a Day at South Oak Cliff High School last year, he was greeted by South Oak Cliff’s marching band and toured its new, state-of-the art facilities. Principal Dr. Willie Johnson reminded him “SOC” stands for two things: Success Over Circumstances and School Of Champions.

“This is a great opportunity to step into the shoes of a DISD Principal for a Day, and yes, you get to do the morning announcements,” Petroskey said. “It’s great to see Capital One continue to sponsor such an impactful program in our community.”

Principal for a Day, the one-of-a-kind collaboration between Dallas ISD and the DRC, convenes for the 22nd year on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Capital One, which has served as the program’s presenting sponsor for 13 years, is active in DISD’s P-TECH Program (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) at Molina High School and North Dallas High School.

“Principal for a Day aligns with our mission to change banking for good,” said Jorge Calderon, Dallas Market President for Capital One. “We are leveraging our resources to provide opportunities for students to unleash their potential and thrive in a rapidly changing employment market.”

This year’s “after-class” reception is sponsored by Amazon.

“Amazon is thrilled to be a sponsor of this year’s Principal for a Day,” said Vickie Yakunin, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs. “We’re excited to learn how the business community can continue to address the needs of students in our local community.”

Other business leaders said this about their “Principal for a Day” experience:

“Principal for a Day is a great way to strengthen the bond between education and workforce, and it’s our job as leaders to expose students to their endless opportunities.”

— Will Haynes, Managing Director at Colliers International

“Principal for a Day had a profound impact on me and my understanding of the needs of our students. The business community needs to help students understand what careers are available to them.”

— Suzanna Rea, Global Head of Specifications at Hilti North America.

“I was so impressed with the staff at J.P. Starks Elementary School during my Principal for a Day experience. It does not matter if you are running an opera company or a school, there are things you must do daily to keep everything running. It’s not necessarily the most glamorous aspect of your job, but if you don’t take care of it, the organization doesn’t run well.”

— Ian Derrer, CEO and General Director at The Dallas Opera

Contact the DRC’s Education and Workforce team to learn how you can participate as a 2022 Principal for a Day.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

All diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts must start at the top of an organization, and businesses need data to properly measure growth. The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) discussed this and more in front of more than 200 people at its second annual State of DEI, presented by JPMorgan Chase, on Sept. 13 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

The DRC partnered with Kanarys to create a benchmarking assessment to help member organizations identify measurable DEI goals to track areas of opportunity. Mandy Price, CEO and co-founder of Kanarys, and Hattie Hill, President and CEO of the T.D. Jakes Foundation, unveiled the assessment’s results during the first panel discussion. The assessment was sent to 398 DRC members with an active DEI contact, with 101 submitting responses. The survey asked questions across the following categories: organizational agility and capacity, inclusion and belonging, talent acquisition, talent management, supplier diversity, and marketplace and community impact.

According to the assessment, 85% of surveyed companies listed DEI as a core value. Paid leave was also a strength with 84% of companies offering maternity leave, 70% offering paternity leave, and 66% offering adoption leave. The national average of companies offering paid leave is 25%. Ninety percent of businesses also offered mental health counseling or benefits, and 78% partnered with organizations serving the historically underserved communities.

“We are seeing in the assessment that 57% of businesses are requiring recruiters to present diverse candidates,” Price said. “This is critical because if you don’t have a diverse pool of candidates from the beginning, then you can’t increase representation within your organization. This is an area where the Dallas Region should be very proud.”

Opportunities for improvement include businesses being more intentional on appointing diverse leaders to their boards and having stronger connections between CEOs and DEI leaders. Less than a third of the surveyed companies’ chief diversity officers report directly to a CEO, according to the report.

The packed program continued with purposeful conversation with important calls-to-action. Businesses need to hire more diversity externally, conduct regular pay audits, review compensation practices, and establish formal supplier diversity programs with specific diverse spending goals.

“We can’t change what we can’t measure,” Hill said. “That’s why we’re all here today. We believe in Texas, and we believe in the Dallas Region. We know we can and will do better.”

Tim Dismond, Chief Responsibility Officer with CBRE, Fred Royall, Managing Director and National Head of Diverse Businesses with JPMorgan Chase, and Juan Suarez, Vice President of DEI with Southwest Airlines Co., led the second panel discussion on DEI in the workplace. All three DEI leaders discussed how their companies are moving the DEI needle.

Dismond said at CBRE, seven of the 11 board members are minorities and women. Royall said JPMorgan Chase is equally intentional in its efforts to be more diverse and inclusive. Suarez listed the DEI awards Southwest Airlines recently won and talked about its partnerships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“Hold leaders accountable in inclusion,” Suarez said. “DEI is a commitment that comes from the top. We see this as a journey, and we must be transparent in what we do. If you measure DEI, businesses need to be held accountable.”

The final panel focused on how to connect communities to opportunities. James Armstrong III, President and CEO, Builders of Hope, Peter Brodsky, owner and CEO, Reimagine RedBird, and Bridget Lopez, Managing Partner, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, joined Dr. Lorin Carter, Founder and CEO of C-Suite Equity Consulting, to discuss equitable development in underserved communities in Dallas.

Brodsky and his company are currently redeveloping RedBird Mall, bringing in retail, offices, and housing to the underserved communities in Southern Dallas County. The first step in executing a redevelopment like Redbird’s is building trust in the community.

“There’s a very ugly history of bad development in communities of color, so there is a mistrust from the community when developers — particularly white developers who don’t know the community — come in,” Brodsky said. “The only way to build trust is to acknowledge the very obvious truth most people don’t want to talk about.”

The Linebarger law firm has provided almost $10 million in pro bono services since the inception of the Landbank program through the City of Dallas. The Landbank program has provided almost 674 homes to underserved communities.

“Black and Latino households earn about half as much as the average White household and possess only 15%-20% of net wealth,” Lopez said. “This wealth gap means the rate of homeownership among minorities is much lower than their White peers.”

Armstrong and his company are connecting Dallas’ blue-collar workforce to affordable housing.

“We see low homeownership levels in west and south Dallas,” Armstrong said. “We are really on a mission to change that.”

The event also included a taped conversation between DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey and Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. Marshall makes sure her team is seen, heard, and comfortable every day at work.

“Everyone deserves the same access in life, and equity is fairness,” she said. “How do we meet people where they are and take them to the next level? And what does fairness mean to you? What makes you feel like you’re being treated fairly every day?”

The DRC also presented for the first time its DEI Innovator Award. The award was presented to a small company with less than 5,000 employees and a large company with more than 5,000 employees. Both companies were top scorers in the benchmarking assessment, representing best practices in advancing DEI in the workplace and in the community. The small company honoree was the Dallas Mavericks, and the large company honoree was Fidelity Investments.

“As the voice of the Dallas business community, the DRC has a responsibility and an opportunity to help companies become more diverse and guide our region to create more prosperous, equitable, and inclusive communities,” said Latosha Herron Bruff, the DRC’s Senior Vice President of Inclusion and Community Engagement. “I want to recognize the leaders who have the courage to do this work. To all DEI practitioners in the room, regardless of where you are in your journey, thank you.”

Click here to read more about the DRC’s first benchmarking assessment, and click here to learn more about the DRC’s Southern Dallas County Economic Development Guide. The event’s presenting sponsor was JPMorgan Chase; gold sponsors were Oncor and Wells Fargo; silver sponsors were Google, Law Offices of Erika N Salter, P.C., and PwC.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

The hunt for top talent remains tough, and experts say employers and job seekers need to stay flexible.

Doug Hall, Financial Additions President, and Deborah Bell, Financial Additions Vice President, recently discussed the results of their company’s quarterly job market survey. Financial Additions, founded in 1999, is a top staffing agency for the accounting and financial sectors. More than 200 companies participated in the recent survey.

Doug Hall, President

Below are five takeaways from their Q3 2022 job market survey:

  1. Get creative.

“It’s simple supply and demand,” Hall said. “The number of kids going to college to get degrees in accounting and finance is declining.”

To combat this, Hall and Bell said companies need to think creatively during their hiring process. This includes “training up” candidates that might lack experience or certain credentials. Hall also said employers can’t assume today’s candidates know how to interview like their pre-pandemic counterparts.

“Leaders need to have realistic expectations,” Hall said. “Maybe they aim for the top 5 needs versus the whole list.”

  1. Job seekers can’t have it all.

Those realistic expectations go for the people looking for jobs, too. Yes, it’s a job seeker’s market (more jobs available than people looking for them), but don’t be too selective. Meetings happen now in public workspaces, hotel conference rooms, or remotely from your living room, but work environment isn’t everything. Picking remote-only jobs could limit you.

Deborah Bell, Vice President of Business Development
  1. The hybrid schedule is here to stay.

Bringing employees back to the office remains a challenge. Some companies are trying to incentivize employees’ return with gas cards, paying for tolls, and free meals.

Most companies surveyed operate three days in the office and two at home or two days in the office and three days at home. Companies said they have difficulty training new employees remote, and current employees are still burning out at home with no clear boundaries.

Hall and Bell said employers need to be intentional about the time they’re in the office. This includes having meetings in person and keeping deep-thought time remote. Companies are also acclimating new hires to team culture with in-person training for up to 90 days before they work remotely.

  1. Remote work adds to an already competitive market.

With remote work becoming more of the norm, gone are the days employees are just competing with local talent. Hall said today’s employees can work for a Dallas-based company from homes outside Dallas and Texas.

“The job market in the Dallas Region was already competitive, and it becomes more dynamic every day,” Hall said. “Job seekers must remember this: every company needs the core function of accounting and finance, so that type of job is everywhere.”

To stand out among the crowd, Bell said candidates can earn additional certifications or degrees, like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Master’s Business of Administration (MBA).

“Don’t limit yourself, and do what you can to make yourself stand out,” she said.

  1. COVID-19 forever changed hiring practices.

Before the pandemic, job hunters and hiring managers tried to match on educational level, work experience, and salary. Now job hunters are getting more specific with when and where they work.

As businesses struggle to find top talent, Hall and Bell said don’t forget to look internally to fill positions and move fast.

“Companies need to make hiring decisions much quicker,” Hall said. “Lower and mid-level talent can switch jobs in 10 days, so don’t waste time.”

If you would like to see the full survey, contact Financial Additions. Also visit the Dallas Regional Chamber and the DRC’s Say Yes to Dallas website for more resources to attract talent to the Dallas Region.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

Maryanne Pina, CEO and majority owner at Career Management Partners (CMP), a leading provider in executive search, assessment, coaching, and outplacement services, said people coming together for good is critical to make the Dallas Region inclusive for all.

Pina discusses how the business community can address the challenges within the Hispanic community in the DRC’s on-going Q&A series for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Maryanne Pina, CEO and Majority Owner

Why is it important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?

Identity is so critical to communities, especially in the formation of our next generation. Hispanic Heritage Month has been around since 1968, and this year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.”  According to the 2022 Latino Donor Collective (LDC) U.S. Latino GDP Report, if U.S. Latinos were a standalone country, they would account for the fifth largest GDP in the world. Recognizing and celebrating Hispanic American contributions to the development and evolution of the United States is important for our continued growth and a stronger nation.

How can businesses address the challenges within the Hispanic community?

Companies who are unsuccessful at sourcing, attracting, and engaging this talent pool will continue to see a significant decline in their talent pipeline. We know that minimal career progression and high attrition hurt both Latinos and companies. Latinos are experiencing minimal career support and development. In fact, only 30% of Latino front-line managers say they have access to mentorship programs or training (IBM Report, 2021). As a woman and minority owned firm at CMP, we have seen a growing segment of our clients inquire about diversity, equity, and inclusion support — specifically for how to engage Latino talent.

Developing your cultural competence will enable you to better support the success of the Latinos you lead and work with.  Specifically, understanding Latino cultural scripts informs how to engage your Latino colleagues. For example, the cultural script of respeto (respect) is the deference to authority or a more hierarchical relationship. As a result, sometimes Latinos are slow to speak up or only share their opinion when asked by a superior or someone older than themself. To help you better engage and develop your Latino talent, visit Latino Career Assessment™, powered by CMP.

Please share with us some Hispanic-serving organizations in the Dallas Region you support.

As a daughter of Mexican immigrants and being raised in a border town with all my health and wellness visits being done in Mexico, I have come to realize the importance of access to healthcare for the North Texas Hispanic community. I believe in the mission of these organizations since they do important work for the community:

      • Los Barrios Unidos (LBU): provides quality care to all people, creating a safe, affordable, and accessible healthcare experience.
      • The Concilio: builds stronger communities by unlocking opportunities for Latino families.
      • DFW Hispanic 100: serves as a catalyst for increased participation of Hispanic women in employment, procurement, and social issues to create economic empowerment through leadership, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

What moment in your career shaped its current trajectory?

Short answer: A visit to the emergency room at 1:00 AM because a lack of career purpose and misaligned values. Now, I know each of us must do what we love. Life is too short to dread Mondays. At my core, I need to have variety and have a measurable impact. Helping others align their core values and career needs is very rewarding and is a key area of focus for our firm and the work we do with the Hispanic Community.  

Other executives in the DRC’s Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A series include Rafael Lizardi and Bridget Lopez.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

Rafael Lizardi joined Texas Instruments in 2001 as part of the company’s finance development program after serving five years as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He now serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the technology giant headquartered in Dallas.

Rafael Lizardi, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Lizardi, who will be the Board Chair of the DRC in 2023, talks career in the DRC’s on-going Q&A series for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Why is it important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month? 

Hispanics are quickly approaching 20% of the U.S. population, and in Texas, are about 40%. Moreover, these numbers are expected to continue to rise over the coming decades. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the diversity within the Hispanic population, but funny enough, most Hispanics do not use that word. They refer to themselves as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Colombian, Venezuelan, Dominican, just to name a few. Each of those cultures enriches American society and contributes to our country.

How can businesses address the challenges within the Hispanic community?

The way businesses can support the Hispanic community is to embrace and promote diversity among its employees and leaders. This objective is a win-win, as it has been proven again and again that diverse organizations just perform better. Something that is sometimes missed is the pernicious impact of unconscious biases in our business processes, particularly in talent development and assessment. Business leaders should take a close look at their people processes and question where they likely have biases and establish counter measures to address those biases.

Please share with us some Hispanic-serving organizations in the Dallas Region you support.

I was on the board of Mi Escuelita, an organization in Dallas that provides pre-K education primarily to children of Spanish-speaking families with low economic resources. I was also on the Dallas Children’s Theater board, which supports the Hispanic community. As part of the DRC, I am a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Lastly, at Texas Instruments, I have been an active member of several Hispanic employee organizations, such as Unidos and Hispanics in Finance. I enjoy giving back to the community and think of it as my responsibility as a senior leader at Texas Instruments. I am grateful for people who helped me throughout my life, and I want to do the same for others.

How do you stay motivated now and in the future? 

There have been many experiences and roles, as well as leaders and people, who have shaped who I am today. My experience as an officer in the U.S. Army was foundational, and I cherish what I learned there about duty, commitment, leadership, and teamwork. Early in my career at Texas Instruments, a role I had helping lead a small business was instrumental in shaping my skillset to be the most effective at the company. I truly enjoyed working closely with engineers and others to help grow and optimize that small business and have been able to build on that experience over the years. Working with smart, creative people at Texas Instruments who are at the forefront of solving some of the most challenging and important engineering problems, which in turn help make our world better, is incredibly exciting and motivating.

Other executives in the DRC’s Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A series include Maryanne Pina and Bridget Lopez.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

Bridget Lopez joined Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP as an associate attorney in 2004 and now serves as Managing Partner of the Dallas Office.

Bridget Lopez, Managing Partner, Dallas Office

“Every Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s time for me to reflect on the sacrifices of my ancestors, who worked in the fields of West Texas,” she said. “It’s also time for me to recognize the sacrifice from people like my parents who had a high school education and provided countless opportunities for future generations like me.”

Lopez, a DRC Board Member, talks career in the DRC’s ongoing Q&A series for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Why is it important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?

Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for us as a country to celebrate the contributions of Latinos past and present. We are a community that believes that humility is the foundation of who we are as people. Traditionally, we fly under-the-radar as blue-collar workers, trade and skilled workers, and entrepreneurs, yet Latinos in this country represent increasing economic growth and power. We build homes, skyscrapers, roads, and businesses and feed this country from the fields to the tables of restaurants. It’s a recognition of brave and courageous leaders like Dolores Huerta, Pancho Medrano, Anita Martinez, and Cesar Chavez who were willing to sacrifice so much to open doors for Latinos and people of color to ensure our civil rights were recognized and protected.

What are businesses doing right for the Hispanic community? What are areas of improvement?

Businesses are being more inclusive in their outreach which is critical to gaining trust in the community. It’s difficult to understand the challenges without being involved in the community you serve. It’s not just about hiring more Latinos, although, that is a good start. Businesses should adopt their own local elementary school; my law firm did this five years ago, and it has helped us understand one of the most underserved populations and their challenges. How are we helping our schools develop the next workforce? It does not just fall on the educational system and the parents. It lies with our business community providing time and not just dollars to our public schools. We see more efforts in outreach and hiring of Latinos and marketing to us, but the real change starts at the top. If an organization believes in DEI, it really starts with the top decision-makers who can make real change and transform opportunities for Latinos and communities of color.

Please share with us some Hispanic-serving organizations in the Dallas Region you support.

I was proud to co-chair the Concilio’s 40th anniversary gala. The event was held on Sept. 15, 2022, which also kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month. I am involved because my motto at this stage of my life is, “how do I unlock opportunities for Latinos, women, and people of color who have been historically underrepresented?” The Concilio is a nonprofit in Dallas whose sole mission is to unlock opportunities for Latino families. The Concilio provides resources, programs, mentoring, and data for Latinos, so they can be a successful part of their communities. This includes a better understanding of the educational system for their children and gaining more wealth.

What moment in your career shaped its current trajectory?

My appointment to Managing Partner at my firm in 2014 changed my life. I was the youngest person on our firm’s management committee, and my boss DeMetris Sampson, a respected civic and business leader in Dallas, recommended me for the job. I was fortunate to be mentored by a woman of color who had the confidence, foresight, and courage to push me forward. Incredible leaders see the potential in others before they do, and DeMetris Sampson is an incredible leader. I call it generational leadership, and my goal is to continue this great legacy of transformational change. I stay motivated because we have so much ground to make up for and so many opportunities just waiting for us.

Other executives in the DRC’s Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A series include Rafael Lizardi and Maryanne Pina.

By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications

The DRC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leaders Connect recently convened more than 20 DEI and human resource leaders. The meeting was sponsored by Paycom, a user-friendly HR and payroll technology company that is empowering employees and business by letting employees do their own payroll, while also enhancing the entire employee life cycle, all in a single software. From onboarding and benefits enrollment to talent management and more, Paycom streamlines processes, drives efficiencies, increases data integrity, and gives employees power over their own HR information through a self-service app.

Vice President of Product Management Dickens Aubourg and Vice President of Human Resources Jennifer Kraszewski discussed how Paycom empowers employees to be their authentic selves.

Here are a few takeaways from the session:

  • The discussion first focused on the culture of learning. Aubourg and Kraszewski emphasized the importance of educating employees about different backgrounds and perspectives, listening to employees about their experiences and creating opportunities for employees to be their most successful.

“You have to encourage diversity of thought through open dialogue and engagement, which should start with leaders,” Aubourg said. “You also have to build and retain a more diverse workforce at all levels through recruitment and continuous development.”

  • Another focus was Employee Resource Groups (ERG). Paycom is in the process of rolling out several ERGs. They are important for team members to bring their authentic selves to work because they focus on affinities (race, sexual orientation, and religion are a few examples). They also improve community, guide professional training, and celebrate cultural holidays. When they’re well established and supported, they also help companies solve business challenges.

“ERGs promote a diverse, inclusive workplace in alignment with our values, goals, and business practices,” Kraszewski said. “While we serve as a committee for guiding them in their formation, the ultimate goal is for us to serve as hands-off advisers.”

  • The event ended with an open discussion on topics, including wellness programs, mental health, and how to navigate religious inclusion and multicultural groups in the workplace. An attendee recommended Tanenbaum, a secular and non-sectarian non-profit organization focused on building respect for religious differences, as an effective resource for workplace trainings.

For more info on DEI and how to get involved at the DRC, please email dei@dallaschamber.org.

Plano-based ProConnect Group, one of Intuit’s reportable segments, serves professional accountants in the United States and Canada. Intuit’s professional tax offerings include Lacerte, ProSeries, and ProConnect Tax Online.

Jorge Olavarrieta, Vice President of Product Management and Design

Jorge Olavarrieta currently serves as the Vice President of Product Management and Design for Intuit’s ProConnect Group, a division of Intuit that develops products and services for tax and accounting professionals. His background in engineering, accounting, and finance, his passion for the profession, and his nearly 30 years of experience in the tax software industry has enabled him to lead the development of innovations to help tax and accounting professionals succeed.

Olavarrieta started his career at Lacerte Software, which was eventually acquired by Intuit, the well-known global technology platform powering prosperity to more than 100 million customers worldwide with TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, Credit Karma, and Mailchimp.

As a leader in the fintech space, Olavarrieta has helped create a strong culture of customer obsession within his organization. This passion for the customer has enabled Intuit to deliver solutions for the challenges the professionals face today, while also helping to build solutions for their evolving needs.

“Tax and accounting firms are undergoing a generational transition — a change of focus from predominately offering compliance services, to a shift toward playing a bigger role advising their clients,” Olavarrieta said. “The advice of an expert need not be reserved only to high wealth individuals, and our aim is to democratize tax advice in service to helping more hard-working taxpayers achieve their goals.”

To enable that transition, the ProConnect team has recently released a new product, Intuit Tax Advisor.  This new product aims to automate the identification of tax strategies that will help the professional provide deeper insights and better financial outcomes for their clients, helping transition the professional from being compliance-focused to becoming more advisory-driven.

Beyond helping professionals and their clients prosper, Olavarrieta, who was born in Punta Arenas, Chile, is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and Intuit’s commitment to DEI is explicit in its Stronger Together value.

“The workforce must reflect the communities in which we live and the professionals we serve,” Olavarrieta said. “We are providing resources to help the underrepresented succeed and partnering with professional associations to identify and attract diverse talent within our organization and within the tax and accounting profession. Intuit is committed to building and recruiting talent in the Dallas Region and beyond, so we can all thrive in this high-tech environment.”

Intuit’s Racial Equity Advancement Leadership Team (REAL) helps to achieve these goals.

Intuit’s REAL Team addresses racial equity and is composed of underrepresented minority employees and supported by executive sponsors like Olavarrieta across a diverse cross-section of the company. Together, each team member advocates for change that improves the employee experience and builds a more inclusive workplace.

Intuit knows more progress can made when talent from underrepresented minority groups is in the room.

Learn more on Intuit’s career page. If you’d like to connect with Olavarrieta, please contact him at Jorge_Olavarrieta@Intuit.com.

By Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President of Economic Development

No region in the U.S. has added as many jobs as DFW in the past three years. If it was a ball game, it would be called early on a run rule.

From July 2019 through July 2022—the latest data available—our region added 341,000 jobs. Next is Phoenix with 148,000 new jobs, and third is Atlanta with 145,000. Both of those combine for a gain of 293,000 jobs, still nearly 50,000 jobs short of DFW’s growth. Houston ranks fourth with 113,000 new jobs, and Miami is fifth with 104,000.

Our region also leads all major U.S. markets with 107.5 percent of jobs that existed when the pandemic began. Like all regions, we lost a significant number of jobs but began to recover and then fully recovered faster than anywhere else.

We had a lot going for us three years ago and enjoyed an economic tailwind to push us through an incredibly challenging time. There are many reasons we’ve emerged a winner, and can continue to win:

      • We’re still Dallas, DFW, and Texas. The base set of compelling location advantages remain and are likely enhanced like our central location, great transportation and access, and critical mass of all the things companies and people need to succeed.
      • Talent is one of those advantages, and DFW’s population growth and in-migration is attractive to companies. So are our K-12 systems, our community colleges, and our outstanding research universities.
      • As companies reimagine their office environments and needs, DFW’s real estate market can respond and evolve to desired solutions. We have multiple, varied, and new solutions.
      • Dallas’ tech brand has elevated the past few years and more technology companies will be drawn here, complementing our headquarters and financial service brands.
      • More financial services companies will favor DFW over taxing conditions elsewhere.
      • Companies concerned about density or decay issues and deteriorating fiscal conditions in high cost, crowded locations will view DFW favorably and as a better place to be long term.
      • DFW will appeal to manufacturers and distributors seeking to reposition production and supply chains closer to top markets.
      • We feature companies and clusters in biotech, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, fintech, cybersecurity, gaming, artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain. DFW is a capable and convergent location for new sectors to locate and expand, especially considering the scale of our existing tech ecosystem.
      • DFW is well positioned as a location for electric vehicle and related companies, considering the strong auto and aircraft sector here and in Texas.
      • Texas is now known for business two-steps. Companies have a presence here and then migrate more or even a headquarters here. McKesson, Charles Schwab, Jacobs, and Caterpillar are recent examples. Expect more companies with a strong corporate presence in DFW and Texas to consider a shift of headquarters here if currently located in difficult business climates.

There are at least 176 companies that would attest to all or part of this list. That’s the number of corporate locations and expansions announced in DFW since March 2020, according to the DRC’s research, tracking, and recruitment of projects.

These include large projects like Texas Instruments’ plans to build semiconductors in Sherman, to the Fortune 500 headquarters moves by CBRE and AECOM to Dallas and Caterpillar to Irving, to smaller but impactful tech projects like MP Materials locating a rare earth magnets manufacturing plant in Fort Worth.

All these projects report 47,600 total jobs. And they will occupy over 27 million square feet of space.

Among the 176 are 57 corporate relocations; others are new locations or expansions.

Those 57 relocations are from a lot of places. It’s no surprise that many moves — 23 in fact — were from California. But 34 moves came elsewhere: New York, Illinois, and 12 other states and five countries.

It’s also interesting to look at the 176 total projects to see where they’ve landed in DFW.

Thirty three cities in DFW landed at least one corporate location or expansion since March 2020.  More than half of those, 18, had multiple corporate announcements. Far and wide across our region.

We also have hotspots. Dallas (36), Fort Worth (26), Irving (16), Plano (15), Frisco (8),and Lancaster (6) were home to the most announcements.

These are my favorite of all our incredible numbers over the past three years. It’s a testament to the health and diversity of the cities in our region. It’s also a reflection of the good economic development work being done in our cities. The DRC team enjoys working with regional cities to market our region and bring great companies and jobs here.

The Dallas Region is poised for prosperity now and into the future. Take a deep dive inside the region’s economy, business climate, innovation, real estate, and more here.