AT&T gets help from Workforce Solutions

three workers working at a desk, viewed from the top down

Relocation can be challenging for most companies, but when you are AT&T, one of the largest telecommunications firms in the world, moving to a new city can present a host of bigger challenges and opportunities. Fortunately, AT&T was able to partner with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas (WFSDallas) and its various services to meet their recruitment, training and hiring needs.

AT&T has a long history of bringing innovation and jobs to Texas, and in 2008, made the decision to relocate its corporate office from San Antonio to Dallas. The move created the opportunity for new partnerships and an investment in the DFW community.

“AT&T’s commitment to the communities we serve, live and work is well known,” said AT&T’s Vice President of Talent Management Julie Bugala. “Our $350 million education-focused giving through AT&T Aspire is making a difference – and we’ll continue to support local partnerships and programs that show results.”

Within a few short years after relocation, AT&T announced plans for business expansion through Project Velocity IP (VIP) and once again WFSDallas and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) were there to help. With the expansion of services through VIP, came the need for a custom-trained workforce. In 2012, AT&T expressed a need to fill hundreds of newly created jobs and reached out to the Dallas County Community College District El Centro College to partner on a Skills Development Fund grant program application through TWC.

Through the Skills Development Fund, businesses are able to partner with local community colleges to apply for state-funded customized job-training for new and incumbent employees. During this first phase of funding, El Centro was awarded $1,919,856 to provide instruction to 800 new AT&T employees. Workers hired for the training were able to enter into a Telecommunications Career Pathway, which would lead to higher wages and career advancement within AT&T and would be transferable to other careers in the telecommunications industry.

In 2016, in response to growing demand in the telecommunications and information technology sector, AT&T initiated another phase of training through an additional $999,704 Skills Development Fund grant to train 400 more employees.

“The economic growth of the telecommunications and information technology sector has allowed the Dallas area to benefit from a skilled workforce,” said WFSDallas President Laurie Bouillion Larrea. “We are proud to partner with AT&T as it continues to expand products and services worldwide, while bringing career opportunities to local jobseekers.”

AT&T continues to partner with WFSDallas to hire workers and provide technical skills that prepare its workforce for new career opportunities. Through, hiring events and skills grants, AT&T has improved the ease of recruitment and has developed a reputation for providing customized and comprehensive training plans for new workers.

"WFSDallas connects employers like AT&T to collaborative opportunities in our communities to help skill up the future workforce,” said Bugala.

With 28 local workforce development boards across the state offering direct consultation and customized workforce services, in FY2015, approximately 88,811 employers received human resource assistance and other outreach services to address their business needs. Bugala touts AT&T’s ongoing support in the DFW community through programs that will help the telecommunications industry maintain a ready and skilled workforce.

“…Like our new initiative with Seagoville High school, where we are the corporate collaborator for the newly forming PTECH (Pathways in Technology) program and our partnership with Eastfield College, where AT&T will provide student mentoring and curriculum consultation.”