Dallas Police Department to recruit gay candidates
The Resource Center of Dallas will host North Texas’ first GLBT job exposition at the John Thomas Gay and Lesbian Community Center on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Gil Flores, director of the community center, said the job fair is part of the group’s “Living Series” program it developed to help gay people improve the quality of their lives. The center offers classes in job hunting, home buying, media interaction, financial and legal planning, stress relief and more.
“If we are training people for interviewing and writing resumes, what’s the next logical step?” Flores said. “To have some sort of job expo.”
Gay community centers in San Francisco and New York have held similar successful events, he said.
Employers participating in the invent include the Dallas Police Department, Kroger’s, Chase, Chipolte, Supercuts and NetPlay Promotions, Cingular and two hotels. They will be recruiting for jobs ranging from entry level to professional.
Center staff members are still registering employers for participation, and they hope to attract at least 50 to the event. Coordinators expect as many as 300 job seekers to attend.
Henry Ramirez III, programs coordinator for the center, said employers are responding favorably to the invitations to participate. The booths cost the employers $150.
“We’re finding a lot more companies are interested in marketing to the GLBT community and getting key people into those positions to answer questions and to be there to represent the GLBT community,” Ramirez said.
It will mark the first time for the Dallas Police Department to recruit from the GLBT community, although the city’s anti-discrimination policy includes sexual orientation and several gay men and lesbians serve on the force. The police department’s liaison to the GLBT community, Laura Martin, is a lesbian.
Flores said Chief of Police David Kunkle’s leadership since he took over in 2004 has made the department more progressive. He noted that the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco police departments also recruit in the GLBT community.
“I credit Chief Kunkle,” Flores said. “He has been a very big supporter of the community.”
Ramirez said the center has marketed the job fair on the Internet, by e-mail and on posters. There is significant interest among job seekers, he said.
“We’ve got a lot of good responses,” Ramirez said.
Shane Withrow, who learned about the job fair when he saw a poster at the center, said he plans to attend. He has been looking for a job for three weeks and is eager to be employed.
“Whatever I can get,” Withrow said. “I know it sounds very vague, but I’m to a point where I really need a job. I’m good with computers, and I’m good with people.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 24, 2006.