Recognizing the critical need for an action plan of resolution, the South Dallas Employment Project (SDEP) was established in February 2020 by Redemption Bridge, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit intermediary, in partnership with the State Fair of Texas. SDEP’s strategic approach is to support individuals returning to or living in south Dallas to lead sustainable lives. We have accelerated our work, given the challenges posed by both COVID-19, and the issue of justice equity.
Project Managers of SDEP, Wes Jurey (Executive Director of Redemption Bridge, and Immediate Past Chairman of the Texas Workforce Investment Council) and Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew (Owner, Soulstice Consultancy, LLC and Chair, SDEP Advisory Council) act as intermediaries, convening participating organizations. The focus is to guide the integration and alignment of their organizational resources; working within a collaborative framework; sharing a common, overarching goal: To assist opportunity populations to successfully reintegrate into South Dallas with the skills, competencies, knowledge and capabilities to live sustainable lives.
SDEP is built on the “Talent Pipeline Demonstration Model” developed by Redemption Bridge, premised on closing the skills gap in Texas, providing training, resulting in nationally recognized industry certifications, enabling the employability of opportunity populations to lead sustainable lives. SDEP provides both the framework and process to establish “Communities of Practice” that holistically serve opportunity populations in our currently defined areas of South Dallas. That area includes the two zip codes with the highest percent of their population incarcerated in the state of Texas.
SDEP offers a Pathway from unemployment to permanent work for:
(1) Homeless youth and adults
(2) Those who are incarcerated or are coming out of incarceration
(3) Those who have a physical or mental disability
(4) Other individuals with significant barriers to employment
SDEP has also established “collaborative community capacity” with our partner organizations, and services that bring businesses, government, educational institutions, workforce agencies, and nonprofit social enterprises together to align and integrate resources.