20 Under 40: Ebony Rose
When Ebony Rose played softball at Dallas County High School, she learned how to play every position on the field. Now, as the job placement coach for Wallace Community College, she helps train people for all the various positions of the professional world.
“Before they get a job, the most important thing is to make sure the students have the skills and training to not just get a job, but also to keep a job and turn it into a career,” Rose said.
When businesses and industries need to fill positions, they call Rose to ensure they get qualified people with the proper training and certifications. She then works to find the best students from a pool of candidates.
Rose manages this with an online system she developed which is similar to job recruiting websites like Monster.com, but specifically for WCCS students.
As a Selma native, Rose said she likes to see students find jobs nearby.
“This is home,” Rose said. “I have to be a little selfish. I don’t want my students to have to travel to go to work when there are jobs in our area.”
Rose found her calling for workforce development by way of The Innovation Center, a business incubator. She said she enjoyed working with people who wanted to create and start something new from the ground up.
“I loved helping with the development and the growth of my community.”
One thing that Rose emphasizes to her students is the difference between having a job and working. She said people who have a job just do the bare minimum to get by, while people who work give it their all at all times.
“I have seen a dramatic change over the past ten years,” Rose said. “There are businesses that are hiring, industries that are looking for qualified people to fill positions, but people don’t want to really work. People aren’t willing to put in the extra effort to make themselves invaluable to that company.”
When it comes to the future of Selma and Dallas County, Rose said young, creative people are the most important people to change the way things are.
“It saddens me to think that they don’t have anything to look forward to,” she said. “Something I learned with entrepreneurship was that sometimes you have to get out there and create. Don’t think outside of the box; get out of the box completely.”
On top of her duties as the job placement coach, she also serves as the director of the children’s camp at Wallace each summer. She uses the time with children to teach good study habits in a fun environment.
Rose said if the youth in the area have a good work ethic, they can reach new heights.
“The sky is not the limit,” she said. “It’s just the view.”
— Christopher Edmunds