Ralph Adams

Ralph Adams

Dallas Economic Opportunity Leadership Academy, Class of 2019-2020, Economic Opportunities Program

Director of Workforce Development, Regional Black Contractors Association, Dallas, Texas

Ralph Adams has a broad base of experience in workforce development, social equity and economic development, staffing/recruitment, contract negotiation, business start-up, non-profit development, program coordination/implementation and a Certified Trainer. He is the Founder and a Principal Partner of First Step Workforce Services and Chief of Business and Workforce Development for First Step Community Empowerment. Dr. Adams served as the Director of Workforce Development Services and worked closely with the Department of Labor Prison Re-entry Initiative, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and Green Jobs Training for the Urban League of Greater Dallas & North Central Texas with an operational budget in excess of $5,000,000. Prior to his tenure with the Urban League, Dr. Adams was the Grants Manager for Lockheed Martin, IMS (Welfare Reform) and Community Resources Coordinator for Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas Workforce Centers in Dallas County (WFS). He wrote, developed, implemented, marketed and managed two innovative pilot programs (funded by the Texas Workforce Commission) with operational budgets exceeding $500,000. He was responsible for the recruitment, hiring, training and retention of staff servicing over 800 customers in Dallas County. Dr. Adams acted as the point person and developed/maintained relationships with the Dallas area Chambers of Commerce, Dallas County Community College District, state agencies, Community/Faith-based Organizations and churches. In addition, he fostered relationships with area corporations and businesses to encourage the hiring of entry-level/first-time workers. In doing so, Dr. Adams spearheaded the WFS outreach efforts through implementation and coordination of job fairs that attracted employers with hiring needs. These ingenious and innovative methods of coordinating job fairs, regardless of socioeconomic status, attracted over 50,000 job seekers in five years. Dr. Adams experience includes numerous opportunities in which he developed community and economic initiatives, customized construction and skilled training programs, managed federal grants for pilot projects and coordinated employment-related resources within the community-at-large. He sits on several Boards/Advisory Boards, once served as Chairman of the Board for Individual Advancement Management, consults with Pastors on outreach initiatives, church growth and funding building projects through church financing. He has appeared on WFAA Channel 8 ‘Good Morning Texas’ and ‘Metro’ Fox 4, ‘Insights, 970 AM ‘Robert Ashley Talk Show,’ and Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). He wrote two training curriculums, First Step to Employment which was used by Dallas Independent School District ‘Alternative School Program’, and Metro Works. The Metro-Works curriculum was used by substance abuse treatment agencies in Dallas County that received funding from TCADA (Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) and CSAT (Center for Substance and Treatment). Dr. Adams currently oversee a customized construction training through the Regional Black Contractors Association. It is funded by the Dallas County Community College District and Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas (Work Ready U).

Ralph Adams is a member of the Dallas Economic Opportunity Leadership Academy, Class of 2019-2020, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at as.pn/eofn.

If this is your bio and you would like to revise it, please contact eop.program@aspeninstitute.org.