DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There is a new push to bring jobs to those who need it most in South Dallas.

The goal of the City of Dallas ‘Grow South’ economic development plan is to improve the quality of life in southern Dallas. Today, a part of the equation focusing on jobs kicked off in Oak Cliff.

Citalic Rodriguez doesn’t see herself as a representative of any group, but her application with a job program on Tuesday put her and others who applied in a category targeted by the state agency that oversees workforce development: young jobless adults and teens who call the southern side of Dallas home.

Rodriguez, 21, hasn’t had gainful employment in more than a year. “I want to finish school and I want to work and this is a great opportunity,” she said.

Grow South Jobs 2

Be it in the retail shops of Oak Cliff’s Southwest Center Mall, or the businesses that line Oak Cliff’s busiest boulevards, there are more youth than there are jobs, according to local Texas Workforce officials.

Workforce Solutions outreach campaigns across the county are signing up 16 to 21-year-olds looking for work.  The companies won’t pay the salaries, a $1.8 million grant will.

“We have a commitment to South Dallas,” said Adam Kirk, with Workplace Solutions.

Of the program that will provide some 800 jobs Kirk said, “Our goal is putting our job seekers to work, and sometimes that may be for the very first time.  That means giving them exposure. For me I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I got the exposure.  That’s the same opportunity we’re trying to give them.”

Rodriguez will find out next week if a job comes her way.

Click here to find out more on the Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas website.

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