New partnership offers free classes for South Dallas residents

The Dallas Community College District has a new campus, so to speak, in South Dallas.

Richland and El Centro colleges will offer free classes to South Dallas residents.

The first of its kind program has launched in South Dallas to give working adults a second chance at a new beginning.

“We wanted our residents with whom we work to begin to acquire the different skills that could lead them to a given career,” said Diane Ragsdale with the Inner City Development Corporation.

It's called Work Ready U, a partnership between the Inner City Development Corporation and the Dallas Community College District that will offer free GED, ESL, and classes like IT, health care, welding and more to qualifying South Dallas residents. El Centro and Richland Community College will bring the classes to South Dallas.

“So this is why it’s so exciting to have this educational center located in this community in this neighborhood,” said Diana Flores, the chair for the Dallas Community College District Trustee Board.

Classes will be held at the South Dallas training center evenings and weekends, a neighborhood that can sometimes be overlooked.

“What we wanted to do is to provide a community-based work training program in the heart of a disenfranchised neighborhood within mill city neighborhood,” Ragsdale said.

Miles Calloway went to see how he could benefit. He signed up for the army reserves after high school. Now, he's hoping to find his way to a career.

“I’m still trying to find what I want to do with the rest of my life,” he said. “So I’m gonna learn as much as I can while I can.”

The college district hopes the free classes will be a to change the mill city neighborhood one life at a time.

For more information, visit or contact Ron Clark, vice president of business services at Richland College’s Garland campus, at