First Step Community Empowerment

About Us


 First Step Community Empowerment is a Faith-based 501(c) 3 tax exempt organization that address societal ills in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan low income communities through social and economic development.  Staff  has over 50 years of combined social and economic development experience.  



Services Include: 

  • Workforce development services, job placement assistance for criminal justice involved individuals and others
  • Provide enrichment activities/nutritional meals for low income school-aged children and hot meals for homeless families/children
  • Housing referrals (case-by-case basis)

  • Assist in the development and building of attainable homes, multi-family and mixed use
  • Social services, i.e. food, clothing, financial literacy for disadvantaged  families, credit restoration, car ownership program, van pool services, first time home buyer referrals, spiritual guidance, coalition building, utility/rental assistance (availability of funds/case-by-case basis) and bus passes/gas cards (availability of funds/case-by-case basis)
  • Resource referrals for minority populations  to be tested for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD's and TB
  • Resource referrals to minority populations living with HIV/AIDS for essential comprehensive care     

Community Partners


  • Abounding Prosperity
  • American G.I. Forum, Dallas, TX
  • Association of People Affected by Addiction (APPA), Dallas, TX
  • Brighter Outlook, Inc, Ft. Worth, TX

  • City of Dallas Community Courts, Dallas, TX
  • Citywide Community Development Corporation, Dallas, TX
  • City Square, Dallas, TX

  • Cornerstone Baptist Church, Dallas, TX​
  • Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Dallas, TX
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dallas, TX

  • Ebenezar Baptist Church, Ft. Worth, TX
  • Enterprise Car Rental/Ride Share Program, Dallas, TX

  • ​First Step International Church, Dallas, TX
  • Goodwill Industries, Dallas, TX
  • Portfolio Resident Services, Dallas, Ft. Worth, TX (metropolitan)
  • Potter's House Texas Offender Reentry Initiative (TORI), Dallas/Ft. Worth TX 
  • Ralph & Mary Adams Ministries

  • Ready to Work, Dallas, TX
  • Regional Black Contractors Association, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  • ROD Ministries, Dallas, TX
  • RR Connection Consulting Group, Duncanville, TX
  • ​Safe Haven Housing

  • Second Chance Foundation, Dallas, TX
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice Parole Division, Dallas, TX
  • The Card Board Project, Dallas, TX
  • TP Solutions, Ft. Worth, TX
  • ​Transformance, Dallas, TX
  • And many employer​s

Director's Bio



Dr. Ralph Adams social services and professional experience includes numerous opportunities in which he developed community and economic development initiatives, customized construction and skilled training programs, managed federal grants for pilot projects and coordinated employment-related resources within the community-at-large. 

Dr. Adams has a broad-base of experience in workforce development, social/economic development/disparity, staffing/recruitment, contract negotiation, business start-up, non-profit development, and program coordination/implementation. He is a Certified Global Career Developer Trainer and Certified Department of Labor Trainer.

Contracts obtained to provide workforce/social/economic development:

- Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity

- Dallas Independent School District

- Potter’s House, Texas Offender Reentry Initiative (TORI) via City of Dallas

- Citywide Community Development Corporation via City of Dallas

- Portfolio Resident Services

- RR Connection Consulting Group

- Transformance via City of Dallas

Regional Black Contractors Association

Abounding Prosperity

Adecco Staffing USA 


Dr. Adams currently serves as the Chief of Business & Workforce Development for First Step Community Empowerment and Director of Workforce Development for the Regional Black Contractors Association.  He served as the Director of Workforce Development Services for the Urban League of Greater Dallas & North Central Texas and worked closely with the Prison Re-entry Initiative, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and Green Jobs Training through Federal grants with an operational budget in excess of $5,000,000. Mr. Adams was instrumental in spearheading economic development through multi-family/single housing for low- and moderate-income families in certain demographic communities in Dallas County. Currently developing affordable housing initiatives in Arkansas.    

Prior to his tenure with the Urban League, Dr. Adams was the Grants Manager for Lockheed Martin, IMS (Welfare Reform) and Community Resources Coordinator/Senior Business Development Leader under contract with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas Workforce Centers in Dallas County. At Lockheed Martin, IMS, 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 in the Dallas metropolitan area and businesses to encourage the recruitment, hiring and retention of individuals seeking to re-enter the workforce or to enter the workforce as an entry-level/first-time worker. In doing so, Dr. Adams spearheaded the agency’s outreach efforts and implemented/coordinated job fairs/recruitment initiatives that attracted over 50,000 job seekers.

Dr. Adams sit on these Boards and several Advisory Committees: 

Dallas Economic Opportunity Leadership Academy Fellow

SCCIP Court, (Advisory Team)

Regional Black Contractors Association Board

Southern Black Policy Advocacy and Network (Board) 

RBCA Foundation (Board)

Lancaster Kiest Merchants Association (Board)