The Community Outreach Center

Posted: June 16, 2022

During the pandemic, the staff of Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County focused our eyes upwards and listened to the needs of those that we serve. Many jobs that our residents qualify for offer sub-fair wages causing the individual to have to obtain multiple sources of income to meet their basic needs. In response to this struggle, we have developed a program that will address the skill deficiencies and the under-employment factors affecting low income/no income citizens.

UGM-TC is excited to share the news of The Community Outreach Center – a 27,260 square foot facility expected to complete construction next year. The Center, located across Lancaster from UGM-TC’s campus, will house UGM-TC’s Donation Warehouse and provide a Vocational Training Program to give individuals such as UGM-TC residents and clients of community partners like Presbyterian Night Shelter, Salvation Army, and Texans Can Academies, as well as individuals from the surrounding neighborhoods, the resources to obtain fair-wage employment opportunities.

The Vocational Training Program will focus on two areas: Fulfillment Center Logistics and Apartment Complex Maintenance.

Why did we choose these two areas?

  • These particular industries are in high demand in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and the wages offered for these trained positions are above the living wage. The DFW market added more apartments than anywhere in the nation over the past 10 years. As of January 2020, there were 733,881 apartment units in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with 24,486 recently opened and 29,238 under construction. Dallas-Fort Worth also added the second-largest amount of industrial storage/warehouse fulfillment center floor space in the United States, almost 24 million square feet, as of April 2023.
  • The minimum threshold for a Fair Wage job is $17.78 per hour for the Dallas/Fort Worth region, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • 2023 data on reports the current starting rate with less than year of experience for a Warehouse Fulfillment Center Worker in DFW is $21 an hour and an Apartment Complex Maintenance Worker is $26.63 per hour.

Fulfillment Center Logistics Curriculum:

This course will provide the skills necessary to work in a fulfillment center warehouse environment like those operated by Amazon, Walmart and Rooms To Go. Students will:

  • Learn how to operate fork lifts, pallet jacks and other warehouse centric equipment
  • Learn how to utilize “pick list” software systems
  • Gain the necessary OSHA Safety Training Certificates required for employment
  • Receive the following certifications through The Manufacturing Skills Standards Council:
    • Certified Logistics Associate
    • Certified Logistics Technician

The Community Outreach Center will be configured and operate as a typical Fulfillment Center in order to provide real hands-on experience. The course will be 6 weeks long comprising of class room and floor work sessions.

Apartment Complex Maintenance Curriculum:

This course will provide training which will focus on the skills necessary for providing repair, installation, preventative maintenance and groundskeeping care as required for an Apartment Complex Maintenance Worker. The Community Outreach Center will have mobile “labs” that will simulate various repair/installation scenarios that are considered essential skills for a Maintenance Worker. Examples of these skills are:

  • Water heater, toilet, sink, and garbage disposal installation and repair
  • Apartment unit air conditioner installation and repair
  • Dry wall repair
  • Appliance repair (washer and dryer, dishwasher, stove/oven, hood vent, refrigerator)
  • Pipe welding/joining
  • Lawn irrigation repairs
  • Fire systems knowledge and troubleshooting

The course will be 6 – 8 weeks long comprising of classroom and lab work sessions.

Community Partners for The Community Outreach Center:

  • Tarrant Area Food Bank
    • TAFB will provide training in the Fulfillment Center Logistics course
    • TAFB will provide ready-to-go meals for students to take home to their families
  • The Apartment Association of Tarrant County
    • AATC will provide training in the Apartment Complex Maintenance course
  • Texans Can Academies – Fort Worth
    • Texans Can will provide vocational training opportunities for students
    • Texans Can will continue to expand its opportunities in other areas such as electrical, welding, and manufacturing

Additional services:

  • UGM-TC will provide Vocational Training Case Management for the students in order to assist with challenges and obstacles they face while attempting to balance the learning experience and life challenges that occur outside of the classroom. The Case Manager will work with the students to address coping skills, decision making skills and other “soft skills” needed to succeed in a new working experience.
  • Upon successful completion of the respective new skills training program, the Vocational Case Manager will assist the program graduate during the new employment interviewing and hiring process.
  • UGM-TC will formalize relationships with corporate partners and directly connect our training graduates with interviewers.
  • The Community Outreach Center will contain the UGM-TC Donation Warehouse. The Donation Warehouse assists 150 households annually with “Move-Out Packages” to set up their homes.

Please feel free to contact Jordan Price, Development Director, at 817-338-8406 if you would like additional information about the project.

Together, we can give local individuals the tools they need to support themselves and their families to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. To donate to The Community Center Capital Campaign, please visit our online donation site and select "Community Outreach Center Capital Campaign". 

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