Dallas County leads the way in hiring Second Chance Workers for construction projects

A rendering of the Dallas County Records Building (view from Dealey Plaza), the renovation of which is scheduled for completion in fall 2020. Photo courtesy of Gensler.

In late 2017, the Dallas County Commissioners Court modified its hiring-eligibility requirements for construction projects to create work opportunities for individuals with prior misdemeanor and felony convictions (Second Chance Workers). 

In coordination with the Regional Black Contractors Association (RBCA) and contractors who do business with Dallas County, the Second Chance Workers program engages former offenders to work on County construction projects. The program includes skills development and trainings to prepare workers for County jobs. 

“The Regional Black Contractors Association did a great job assisting the County and its contractors by finding, training and placing the Second Chance Workers,” said Jonathon Bazan, Assistant County Administrator. “We hope this is a model that can be duplicated on other County projects.”

As of March 2018, Dallas County contractors employed 135 Second Chance Workers on the Dallas County Records Building Renovation Project. On average, 45 Second Chance Workers are onsite at any one time. Presently, Dallas County, the RBCA and County contractors are collecting information regarding the program to quantify its economic impact at project completion.   

Vendors that employed Second Chance Workers included:

  • Azteca Enterprises
  • Coverall Management and Association
  • Houston Miller Enterprises
  • LeVis Construction
  • Omega Contracting
  • Precision Demolition
  • Ricks Associates
  • Western Specialty Contractors

The Dallas County Records Building project has the largest number of Second Chance Workers on a Dallas County project to date. Other projects with program participation include the Elections Facility project, South Dallas Government Center development and the new, in-process Oak Cliff Government Center.