AT&T Career Aware Focuses on Jobs and Job Training for Homeless and Impoverished
Dallas, Texas, June 12, 2012
Dallas-based AT&T* is fully aware of the struggles the homeless and impoverished community faces on a daily basis. A 2012 annual count by the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance revealed that more than 5,700 homeless individuals in Dallas County wake up each morning not knowing where they will sleep that night or how they can earn enough money to survive. For the past eight years, the number of homeless individuals has continued to grow due to a very difficult economy and soft housing market.
AT&T and Dallas nonprofit organizations focused on homeless issues recognize they have the abilities and resources to educate and employ individuals with the desire and determination to overcome their circumstances. On June 12, AT&T will launch AT&T Career Aware and host an event in conjunction with Back on My Feet and CitySquare to connect nearly 30 homeless or impoverished members of the Dallas community with local AT&T job opportunities.
"AT&T's pilot program is an exciting initiative to help decrease the homeless population in Dallas. This is a difficult issue and one that I have worked on for a number of years, so I appreciate their efforts," said Mike Rawlings, Dallas Mayor and former Dallas homeless czar. "I hope other businesses and organizations will see how they can make an impact and strengthen our community through initiatives like this."
Prior to the Career Aware event, participants completed a career preparation course through Back on My Feet and CitySquare that covered resumé building and basic interviewing skills. During the Career Aware workshop, attendees will learn about AT&T’s workplace diversity and real AT&T jobs through presentations from employees ranging from retail sales consultants to U-verse technicians and call center customer service representatives.
The day will focus on educating individuals on how to live a mentally and physically healthy lifestyle, basic steps to apply for a position, job descriptions and demonstrations. Attendees will have the opportunity to complete a job profile and meet one-on-one with AT&T recruiters to explore immediate career opportunities. The session will conclude with a graduation ceremony commending participants for their dedication to improve their quality of life and providing each person with an AT&T GoPhone and 100 minutes to ensure they can be contacted for an interview.
Kelly King, AT&T South Central president for Retail Sales and Service and national Back on My Feet Board member, believes that “once through the door, these individuals have access to a wide range of training opportunities, including our flagship innovation and talent development engine, AT&T University; numerous mentoring programs and employee resource groups; tuition reimbursement and on-the-job training.”
AT&T is one of the largest employers in the country and has long been recognized for its commitment to providing an inclusive work environment. Roughly 39 percent of AT&T’s workforce are women, and about 39 percent are people of color; AT&T is a member of DiversityInc.’s Diversity Hall of Fame and ranked No. 4 on the organization’s 2012 Top 50 Companies for Diversity.
AT&T’s commitment to military recruitment and employment has been recognized, including its inclusion on the GI Jobs 2012 Top 50 Most-Military Friendly Employers®, AT&T’s seventh year on that list. And with about 55 percent of its employees represented by unions, AT&T is the country’s largest employer of full-time union labor, and the only major U.S. wireless company with a union workforce.
“AT&T Community Engagement strives to engage employees, technology, and resources to connect people with their communities. By considering how best AT&T can work to support the communities in which we operate, we rethink how we do business with an eye on the future. It’s about pushing the limits of our imaginations to set goals for ourselves, our communities, and our business that push us to work smarter and better – and to do it together. Today is about AT&T and our non-profit partners helping disenfranchised members of our community unleash their human capabilities,” stated Janiece Evans-Page, AVP Community Engagement, AT&T.
 (Dallas Morning News, 2012)