Q3 Tomorrow Fund Breakfast: Invest in the region’s talent

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.