Department Operations Updates: March 8, 2022
This post includes a summary of recent Dallas County department operations updates relevant, specifically, to members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.
Team updates include:
- Human Resources
- Budget and Evaluation
- Veteran Services
- Health and Human Services
- Pretrial Services
- Information Technology
- Auditor’s Office
- Juvenile Department
Director: Bob Wilson
The entire Human Resources team has been engaged in discovery and planning for the new Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management, Benefits, Performance Management and Learning Management platforms. Over the next 18 months we will continue to dedicate precious resources to this endeavor.
Three key objectives will remain priorities over the next few years: measuring and elevating employee engagement, full utilization of LinkedIn Learning to enable employees to grow within Dallas County and reinventing our performance evaluation system.
We are excited to be rolling out Dallas County’s first-ever employee engagement survey to give leadership a better understanding of what is important to employees and what they are thinking and feeling about the organization.
Dallas County leadership wants to give a collective voice to employees and bring transparency and employee ownership to the process of creating exciting and new ways to meet the needs of those we serve. The engagement survey will help the Commissioners and leadership track progress on our efforts to make Dallas County an elite governmental entity.
LinkedIn Learning has been fully deployed across the county and the training team is poised to utilize the platform to roll out the first county-wide annual training in harassment prevention.
In addition, the team is working with managers and directors to build training paths for new employees, first-time supervisors, and senior level managers. We believe that these training opportunities will benefit all members of the Dallas County team.
Key components of the Taleo Optimization project have been completed and implemented LIVE throughout Dallas County.
Some key changes are explained below:
- Implementation of SSO (Single Sign-On) was simultaneous with the Taleo Go-Live date of January 13, 2022. SSO is a more secure login that uses your Dallas County email address and Windows password to access Taleo.
- Hiring departments must work through Taleo to take the applicant through the Taleo hiring process from start to finish. Completing the hiring process through Taleo will feed accurate hiring metrics. Applicants who have applied through evergreen postings will now be attached to a specific IRC, and new hire statistics will be captured. Evergreen (generic) postings will only be a “holding” posting for departments to review their applicants.
- With the payroll interface, the Auditor’s Office will be updating all new hires in Taleo to activate the onboarding – new hire statistics.
- During the Taleo implementation meetings, the decision was made for departments and hiring managers to restrict their view of incomplete applications. Effective January 21, 2022, the view for completed applications only has been turned on. Incomplete applications will no longer be visible to hiring managers. Applicants confirm their knowledge of this through the pre-screening questionnaire they must answer.
- Hiring departments can now upload additional questions (with HR approval) to the prescreening questionnaire as jobs are posted.
- Training videos are now available and can be accessed through the Dallas County Intranet > Training Links > HR Training Videos: https://www.dallascounty.org/intranet/hr/videos/ Based on specific user responsibility (HR recruiter or hiring manager), there are seven topics. These functional videos are useful tools for navigating the management of candidates.
To meet the unique hiring challenges of diversity recruiting, HR partnered with a marketing firm, Persuava.
This firm offers a wide range of marketing services, including marketing to the Hispanic market. Persuava developed a comprehensive bilingual digital campaign for Dallas County that included impressions, banners, advertisements, and flyers posted on social media channels. Persuava created a visual concept with a creative handle that applicants can identify with. Content was posted for networking purposes and ads were created for geo-targeted audiences.
This effort was initiated with the Juvenile Department in October 2021. The first ad campaign dropped in December 2021, and by January 2022 our diversity-focused recruitment strategy was fully immersed on Facebook and Instagram. We expect the Dallas County branding strategy to continue and potentially expand to other departments in 2022, with the Sheriff’s Department next.
Dallas County TX Careers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts were launched. Sharing and advertising our county career opportunities to a wider audience will increase our visibility and open our doors to a diverse and talented applicant pool.
Social media is recognized as a powerful tool to reach large amounts of people in a short amount of time. Social media has become a valuable communication tool that allows us to share and spread information and access those we would have not been able to reach normally. Dallas County Human Resources has been connected through LinkedIn for years and boasts 14K+ followers. Now, we will also benefit from our connection through Facebook and Instagram.
Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn:
Our department congratulates Shirley S. Johnson, Assistant Director Human Resources, who was awarded the 2020 HRSouthwest Conference Volunteer Leader of the Year!
Read more about Shirley in our latest People Behind Dallas County story!
Budget and Evaluation
Director: Dr. Ronica Watkins
Our office remains committed to developing a fiscally sound budget, which requires a complex balance of needs and services.
Dallas County’s fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The budget process for each upcoming fiscal year begins in January with budget planning and the development of budget guidelines. The budget guidelines serve as the foundation to the development of the baseline budget and set the framework for the entire budget process. The baseline budget contains revenue estimates developed by the Dallas County Auditor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas County policymakers have been operating in uncharted territory in the planning and development of the countywide budget.
Dallas County’s FY2023 budget will be developed during the recovery of the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing supply chain challenges, as well as the continued weight of Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) and, more recently, the February 2021 winter storms. Additionally, SB 2 reduced the cap on the tax rate increase that the Commissioners Court can consider without voter approval to no more than 3.5%. This limitation on local control with the passing of SB 2 requires Dallas County to think creatively and strategically as we address the needs of our residents. Consequently, forecasting during these critical times becomes essential for effective governmental decision making.
During FY2020, our office modernized budgeting and planning with the implementation of the OpenGov portal to streamline the annual budget process.
In addition to streamlining the annual budget process, our office now can quickly pull requested data for meetings via the portal designed specifically for government use. The FY2023 budget process represents the second time the portal was used completely since the implementation for budget submissions.
Our office finalized a FY2023 Budget Schedule.
Dallas County’s budget process consists of department trainings, several months of presentations, budget hearings, public hearings, and budget adoption. The budget calendar below outlines critical dates throughout the budget process.
In April 2021, our office created a Budget Resource Page that includes all the information our customers need to prepare their departmental budget proposals.
The Budget Resource Page includes training as a reference point for departments requiring additional assistance.
The FY2022 proposed budget was adopted on September 29, 2021, with a total General Fund expenditure of $655.7 million, an increase of $41.8 million (6%) over the projected FY2021 adopted budget of $613.9 million. The FY2022 All Funds budget is $1.5 billion.
Budget highlights are included below.
- All salary structures and incumbent’s salaries will increase by 2%, effective November 2021.
- All County staff and Elected Officials will receive a 3.33% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), effective January 2022, based on Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCEs), as part of County Policy, Section 70-336.
- Law enforcement personnel will receive step-increase when eligible.
- Equity Pay Policy approved, per Court Order 2019-0583, effective January 2022.
- Health insurance budgeted at $9,700 per employee and retirement at the blended rate of 13.72% match for FY2022. Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS) match rate increase from 13.09 to 13.93%, effective January 2022.
- Tiered one-time payments for employees with salaries at and below $60,458 (Grade D), effective December 2021.
- Sheriff’s Office will add 45 slots for the Training Academy where cadets remain in training until slots for approved positions open.
- Dallas County has reached its goal of paying full-time employees a minimum of $15/hour as part of FY2020 full-time employees’ and FY2021 part-time employees’ workforce investments.
Additional County Priorities:
- Providing a homestead exemption for an amount up to 1% of the property’s value, but not less than $5,000.
- Providing a limitation on county property tax increases on the resident homestead for persons who are disabled or 65 years of age or older.
- Additional 38 new full-time positions and 61 position reclassifications have been included in the adopted budget. These positions will provide support to Planning and Development, Commissioners Court Administration, County Operational Services – Facilities, Human Resources/Civil Service, Office of Budget and Evaluation, Sheriff, Medical Examiner, Unincorporated Area Services, District Attorney, District Clerk, Public Defender, County Criminal Court Manager, Health and Human Services, Information Technology, County Auditor, Fire Marshal, Public Works, Veterans Service, County Treasurer, Probate Courts, Domestic Relations Office Administration, and Law Library.
- County vehicle replacement in the amount of $2 million. The adopted budget includes five alternative fuel replacement vehicles (four vans – Juvenile Department, one hybrid sub – Sheriff’s Office).
- Continued collaboration of 15 community-based contracts with service organizations within Dallas County.
- Dallas County, in conjunction with the community and city managers across the metroplex, spearheaded the working group on New Directions for Public Safety and Positive Community Change. In FY2021, Commissioners Court approved $5 million to fund programs in eight Dallas County Cities aimed at producing alternatives to armed police officers’ response to certain calls (i.e., mental health, homelessness, etc.).
- Our current financial suite (Oracle EBS 12.1) is nearing its end of life and will no longer be supported by Oracle as of January 2022. The Continuous Improvement Steering Committee recommended soliciting for an enterprise resource planning system. It is anticipated that an upgrade or system replacement will cost $2 million per year for the platform and approximately $12 million for implementation. The 10-year total cost forecast is $40 million.
- The Commissioners Court approved the selection of Tyler Technologies for the development of a new court case management system for the Criminal and Justice of the Peace Courts. The projected cost for the implementation and development of the system is $10.8 million.
Budget Cost Containment:
- Continuation of a 90-day rolling hiring freeze during FY2022.
- Ongoing monitoring of FY2022 Budget expenditures.
- Limiting discretionary travel unless expended through grants, department-controlled funds, or Discretionary Departmental Funds (DDA). Promoting virtual or in-person conferences during FY2022.
Dallas County continues to maintain a conservative tax rate, and the FY2022 recommended tax rate is the lowest it has been since FY2011.
The tax rate for FY2022 was set at $.227946 cents per $100 assessed valuation from the FY2021 rate of $.23974 cents per $100 tax assessed valuation. Dallas County’s tax rate is one of the lowest of urban counties in Texas.
Our department welcomed RoShunda Wilson, Junior Policy Analyst, in January 2022.
RoShunda will be responsible for establishing metrics for all internal and external American Rescue Plan (ARP) programs. She will work closely with the American Rescue Plan Team in establishing quarterly reports for continuation funding justification.
Our department is developing an OpenGov public transparency portal for Dallas County constituents’ accessibility. The link will be available March 2022.
Director: James T Henderson Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired)
Our department remains committed to the core mission of “assisting eligible Veterans and/or their survivors in obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the State of Texas. Our primary focus is to ensure that all Dallas County Veterans and dependents receive every federal and state benefit to which they are entitled.”
Our department would like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Wreaths Across America either by volunteering to place wreaths or with generous contributions to help cover the cost of each wreath.
This annual event honors each Veteran grave site at nation-wide cemeteries by placing wreaths during the holiday season. This year, with the help of civilian partners, military, and Veteran Services Organizations, all grave sites were recognized and honored at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery with more than 85,000 wreaths placed.
Veteran Services, in conjunction with the county forensics lab and Casey Anderson-Gould, have identified six remains as Veterans this quarter.
Each identified Veteran will be interred at the DFW National Cemetery with honors for their military service.
Veteran Services is proud to serve the needs of our 109,000 Veterans in Dallas County, servicing approximately 500-600 requests each month. Our department takes pride in supporting each Veteran requesting assistance and has a 95% monthly success rate in awarded claims.
Our department would like to thank Commissioner John Wiley Price and Anthony ‘Tony’ Jackson, for identifying and storing six Veteran grave markers located on the grounds of an apartment building in their district.
These markers were found in the parking lot and were propped up against fences. Fortunately, these markers have been identified and will be placed back at their respective places. We also thank the DFW Cemetery leadership and staff for assisting with the identification and placement process.
Our department congratulates Lavette Domineck on her well-deserved promotion to Lead Assistant Veteran Services Officer.
Lavette is well-known in the Veteran Community for her willingness to assist and her extreme care for each Veteran she services.
Health and Human Services
Director: Dr. Philip Huang
Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) opened COVID-19 testing sites throughout the County to respond to the local surge in COVID-19 cases.
Like most of the U.S., Dallas County experienced a COVID-19 surge in January 2022 due to the Omicron variant. With thousands of North Texans looking for COVID tests, DCHHS opened testing sites throughout the county to help meet the high demand. DCHHS partnered with Dallas College, the City of Irving, the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, and Fair Park to open additional drive-thru testing sites providing free PCR and rapid tests to the community. DCHHS also worked with Dallas County IT to develop a map of the testing sites to assist the public with identifying a nearby testing site.
To improve community health outcomes and to achieve health equity, DCHHS is continuing to invest in technology systems and other resources that better enable staff to engage hard-to-reach populations and increase access to health care resources.
- DCHHS is in the process of developing systems to ingest electronic lab data from the state and electronic case reports from the hospitals. DCHHS has made updates to the Salesforce platform to more effectively and efficiently monitor high priority cases/populations, including schools, vaccine breakthroughs, and reinfections. Additionally, DCHHS is expanding our work with Accenture and Salesforce on COVID-19 to 80 additional reportable conditions, allowing DCHHS to use these platforms for more advanced data capabilities.
- DCHHS is also working with the State Health Department on direct electronic reporting to the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS). DCHHS hosts monthly steering committee meetings with staff from the State and other local health departments across Texas to discuss automatic, direct reporting to NEDSS.
- EPIC Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementation is underway at DCHHS clinics. Currently, DCHHS is working with Parkland to train clinical staff on how to use EPIC.
- Additionally, DCHHS has developed a Power BI COVID-19 Dashboard (found here: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/). This interactive tool provides increased visibility of COVID-19 data to the public by breaking down case metrics on a community level, including cases by age, gender, race, hospitalizations, and other epidemiological factors. The dashboard also allows DCHHS to identify health disparities within certain communities or demographic populations, helping target our outreach and vaccination efforts.
- DCHHS is working with the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) in developing a system for synthesizing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) data with other public health conditions to better coordinate health program services.
DCHHS is currently in the process of developing an updated 2022-2024 Strategic Plan for the department.
The strategic plan will help guide the department and its health divisions toward developing and achieving actionable objectives that support Dallas County’s mission of protecting the health and well-being of Dallas County citizens and will also support the Department and County Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
Staff input and strategic thinking sessions across all health divisions are currently underway. These sessions will provide important internal perspectives on key issues to address across 2022-2024. This input will be used to draft a strategic plan expected by late spring of this year, with plan implementation, monitoring, and revisions to continue through 2024.
Director: Duane Steele
Our department recognized Rebekah “Gwen” Truxal’s retirement.
She served the citizens of Dallas County for nearly 40 years, most with Community Supervision and Corrections (CSCD) and the last 12 years with Pretrial Services. Her knowledge, experience and passion has been priceless, and we will truly miss her.
Dallas County Pretrial Services welcomes Miguel Canales as our new Program Manager.
He returns to Pretrial Services (PTS) after serving as Dallas County’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) Manager for the last four years. Prior to CJAB, he worked as an ELM Officer with PTS, and prior to that he served in a number of positions with the Dallas County Juvenile Department, for a total of 11 years of service to the citizens of Dallas County. We look forward to Miguel rejoining our team in his new capacity as Program Manager over all our supervision units.
Our department recognizes our employees of the month, Jacquelyn Leach and Stephanie Johnson, for their exceptional work.
- January: Jacquelyn Leach – Jacquelyn is one of our newest ELM Officers and has grown so much as an officer and teammate. She is quick to help other officers. During the holiday season, Jacquelyn volunteered to report to the office at 6:00 a.m. to ensure that interviews and releases were done on time. Her effort helped a great deal in getting defendants out during the holiday season.
- February: Stephanie Johnson – Stephanie is a wonderful asset to our General Pretrial Unit. She is punctual, consistent and cares about her work. When her co-worker was unable to come into the office, she volunteered to report to the office on her pre-requested days off to assist with running the jail list and getting inmates released. Stephanie goes above and beyond when interviewing defendants who may have a language barrier and finds a solution to get them interviewed and released. She scored 100% on her last audit.
Director: Melissa Kraft
Information Technology’s strategic plan is complete! Info-Tech Research Group delivered our new strategic plan aligned with County objectives and based on the needs of County stakeholders.
IT’s strategic plan utilizes industry best practices and will ensure that our department understands the desired future state and has a roadmap of initiatives to reach that level of maturity. In addition, IT developed a vision, mission, values, and objectives to guide us through fiscal year 2022 and beyond.
Dallas County IT Vision: Be recognized as a trusted partner for the County and its constituents, adopting a service first culture that promotes digital inclusion
Dallas County IT Mission: Assist the County and its departments to achieve their strategic goals through use of secure, reliable, and modern technologies in a collaborative and user-friendly manner
Dallas County IT Values:
- Continuous Improvement
- Service Oriented
Dallas County IT Objectives for FY2022:
- Implement an Individual Development Program (IDP) for all IT team members to encourage continuous improvement and learning culture
- Data as a utility: Develop a data inventory, platform, governance, sharing, and analytics
- Improve IT stakeholder experience to over 85% approval
- Reduce cyber security risk
- Create a new IT strategic plan that is aligned with County objectives and stakeholder needs
- Assist in evaluation of a new jail management system
- Evaluate and update the IT support model for the Courts
- Begin a market analysis of TechShare applications
Our department has moved back to the newly renovated Record’s Building. You can find us on the sixth floor in suite 6400.
IT staff assisted many departments as they moved into new and renovated buildings this fall. Whether it was the grand opening of the South Dallas Government Center, or the completion of renovations at the North Dallas Government Center, IT was there to get everyone plugged in and up and running.
IT assisted the Civil District Attorney’s Office, Human Resources, Public Works, Treasury, the Fire Marshal, Small Business Enterprise, the Clinic, the Sheriff’s Office, and Consolidated Services as they returned to the Records Building. IT also assisted the JP Office, Truancy, Constables, the Tax Office, and the District 4 Commissioner’s Office as they moved into the brand-new Oak Cliff Government Center.
Our office is ensuring the successful execution of Dallas County’s commitment to providing free access to Wi-Fi in most County facilities to improve citizens’ experiences.
The value of strong and stable internet access was realized during the early days of the pandemic when students had to attend classes online and when the kitchen table became the new conference room. Education and employment are facilitated by access to public Wi-Fi, and in some cases, it is the only broadband on which people can rely. Facilities will install new signage in County facilities that identifies locations where “hotspots” are available. This project has been ongoing but is experiencing major delays due to global supply chain issues. We’ve been waiting since last April for Wireless Access Points (WAPs) that were ordered almost a year ago. An update on the status for each facility is provided below.
Wireless Status of Dallas County Facilities:
- Frank Crowley Courts Building (FCCB): Completed
- George Allen Courts Building (GACB): Judges’ Garage and 7th floor remodel are the only parts left. Working on purchasing APs.
- Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center (HWJJC): Cabling has started to support hotspot installations. Working on purchasing APs.
- Grand Prairie: Completed
- Health and Human Services (HHS) 1st – 7th floors: Working on purchasing APs. 8th floor: Completed
- Academy: Completed
- Charter Schools (Letot, JYV, JJAEP, Henry Wade): Waiting on Switches/APs.
- North Dallas Government Center – 4th floor: Waiting on APs.
- Records Building: Partially completed. Waiting on construction to be finished
- Oak Cliff: Completed
- Steele Court Building: Need floor plans/Working on purchasing Aps.
- Garland Government Center: Working on purchasing APs.
- Panoramic: Working on purchasing APs.
- Cook-Chill: Working on purchasing APs.
- Elections 1460 Site: Waiting on APs.
- Richardson Clinic: Waiting on APs.
- LSJ: Waiting on APs.
IT welcomes our new CISO, Collins Dibaki!
Collins is a seasoned thought leader with experience leading security operations and compliance teams. Collins brings to Dallas County over 15 years of security experience in the healthcare, financial/banking, and defense industries, and 23 years of service in the military. He has a proven track record of creating highly motivated and effective cohesive teams that deliver results. Collins is a customer-oriented professional that will greatly assist IT in communicating the security and risk needs of the organization to non-technical audiences.
In an effort to be transparent, drive efficiency, communicate, and collaborate with our stakeholders, IT added a new project management dashboard and intake form to our project website.
Launched in April 2021, the Project Intake SharePoint site was created to centralize all IT project requests countywide. The IT PMO Team receives an average of 2-3 new project requests per week. This SharePoint site and dashboard provides visibility into project requests and, once assigned, awareness of the project manager assigned. Requestors now have an official intake form where previously emails were sent to IT staff with minimal visibility or awareness into the processes taking place behind the scenes. A user training guide and FAQs were also created to enable the requestor to have answers to general questions at their fingertips as well as deep dive into the lifecycle of a project request. IT is now involved at the beginning of projects and can allocate resources more effectively to ensure projects are completed in a timely manner.
Currently, IT has 86 projects in the works for customers all over the County—from ordering new equipment for the SWIFS staff, to upfitting the Axon interview room for the Sheriff’s Office.
Curious staff can stop by our site anytime to see what we are working on.
Our office’s Business Intelligence (BI) Team has been working with departments across the County building dashboards utilizing Microsoft Power Business Intelligence software (Power BI).
Below is a list of their efforts and links to view their work where sensitive data is not a hinderance.
To date, our office has implemented the following Power BI dashboards:
- The Jail Population Dashboard. This dashboard represents a holistic view of Dallas County jail-population management analytics from a high, executive level to drill down data points and details.
- The Dallas County COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Dashboard. This dashboard represents data analytics on how Dallas County is doing in the fight against COVID-19. It displays the number of shots administered by Dallas County to its constituents.
- The React Dashboard. This dashboard combines data from the React application with the iHeat IT ticketing software database and IT’s project database.
- The Eviction Dashboard. This dashboard is located on the County’s website and shows the daily eviction filings.
- The PC Compliance Summary. This dashboard was created for assisting the CJIS team in the compliance efforts.
- The DA Stats Dashboard. This dashboard combines data from Forvus, TechShare, and AIS. Screenshot are provided below:
Power BI offers self-service features which empower end users to conduct in-depth analysis and reporting, thereby reducing the need for local or central reporting support. To date, our office has provided self-service support to the following departments:
- The Criminal Justice Department on the DSO COVID-19 Stats Dashboard which captures COVID-19 statistics from the Sheriff’s Office
- The Criminal Justice Department on the Criminal Trespass Dashboard which presents criminal trespass data. Screenshots are provided below:
Our team celebrates several recent accomplishments and completed projects.
- IT completed 40,878 incidents and service requests last year and 56 projects
- Created the IT 5-year capital plan
- Developed IT equipment standards
- Maintained 97% uptime for Dallas County’s Oracle environment & SQL Servers
- Deployed all service packs / cumulative updates for SQL Servers to date
- Software is rolled out across the County constantly. Here is our recent go-live list:
- Tyler Jury Management System
- E File Texas
- LinkedIn Learning
- IT Asset Management software
- DA Stats Application
- Created the “Who is my Commissioner?” Map
- Created the “Justice of the Peace & Justice Courts” Map
Our department received Commissioner’s Court approval of an IT Standards and Acquisition Policy on February 15 and will be implementing centralized procurement procedures to standardize and inventory the County’s technology equipment, plan for compliance, compatibility, maintenance, upgrade and ultimately disposal.
IT expects that taking advantage of volume purchasing through preferred vendors will pass on savings to IT and the County as a whole.
Director: Darryl Thomas
Dallas County Auditor’s Office has received its 40th Government Finance Officer’s Association’s (GFOA’s) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
This award was established in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to prepare annual comprehensive financial reports (AFR). This award assisted in Dallas County receiving another year with a triple A bond rating.
Tentatively set for October 2022, the transition from Oracle EBS to Oracle Fusion Cloud is approaching the testing phase of the project, starting with the financials.
Director: Darryl Beatty
The Juvenile Department continues to focus on supporting youth, families, the community and each other during the ongoing pandemic.
We have continued to provide exemplary services to all of our justice-involved youth. We have a diverse team with many disciplines represented, and they have all displayed a spirit indicative of what is required of quality public service.
We continue to keep up communication within our department with virtual general staff meetings held every two months.
These meetings spotlight our department’s mission and highlight the outstanding work of our employees. Meetings include service pins, Employee of the Month recognition, Unit of the Month recognition and report outs from administrative leaders to keep everyone informed.
The Dallas County Juvenile Department (DCJD) Black History Committee hosted the 28th Annual Black History Celebration and Medlock Scholarship virtual program on February 26, 2021. Five well-deserving youth were each awarded a $2,000. Lyle B. Medlock Scholarship and a new laptop computer.
The recipients are all current or former referred youth on probation and are graduating seniors or have earned a GED.
The Hispanic Committee awarded five well-deserving youth with a $1,000 Victor Caballero Hispanic Scholarship and a new laptop computer.
The committee’s mission statement is “to promote Latino cultural awareness, unity, fairness and quality services by providing education, professional growth and resources for youth, staff and the families of Dallas County.” The committee finds that there is a continued need for educating and providing necessary opportunities to the juveniles that the Juvenile Department serves.
The Mavericks Foundation renovated the Dallas County Youth Village gymnasium with state-of-the-art basketball equipment and basketball court.
The boys and staff are so appreciative.
The Youth Village Welding and Construction Programs continue to grow.
Boys at Youth Village can earn OSHA-10 forklift certificates as well as American Welding Society (AWS) welding certificates. Construction boys can earn OSHA-10, forklift and small tools experience. Students made a lockable cart for PE equipment and a table to hold a saw. Construction students also completed a picnic table for the gazebo area.
This school year, the boys at Medlock had the opportunity to participate in classical guitar.
Though the pandemic did not allow for a concert, the boys willingly played for all to hear, including staff, clinicians and teachers. We hope to expand this program at the Henry Wade facility this next school year.
Culinary arts students in our residential programs have the opportunity to earn their Food Safe Licenses while also learning about foods from around the world.
Some transition to part-time jobs in their communities when they are released, and others enroll in the Café Momentum program. Students prepare foods for cultural events as well as birthdays and other special occasions.
Through Operation Connectivity, an initiative through Texas Education Agency, our school district purchased Chromebooks for our students at Academy for Academic Excellence Charter School (AAE) and our Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP).
This helped students bolster learning lost in the pandemic and experience lessons in all subjects.