WASHINGTON – Hundreds gathered outside the Districts Department of Employment Services office in northeast D.C. Monday hoping to be one of the lucky few to fill 34 job opening for the District’s new streetcar system.
“We already hired seven operators and so we are looking to fill all the positions like mechanics and other positions we need in place when the streetcar starts,” says Reggie Sanders of the Districts Department of Transportation.
Stephan Bernard of D.C. says he is willing to take any of the available positions.
“I have been looking for a job for at least two years now,” Bernard says.
Stephen Taylor D.C. says he is looking to fill a maintenance position.
“It’s been awful for the last couple of months, I’ve been unemployed since February of last year,” Taylor says.
Sanders says the large turnout on a cold Monday afternoon “says a lot about the economy, but we are doing well in the city in the terms of the numbers of people receiving jobs in the District.”
He says a lot of applicants aren’t only here because they need a job, but also they want to be part of history.
“It’s a historic thing for people to be a part of the streetcar after 50 years of its absence coming back,” Sanders says.
Available jobs include operators and mechanics — positions that could pay as much as $26 an hour.
“A lot of the job placements will happen once we realize how far we are along on the system then we can apply those positions as we build out,” says Sanders.
Testing is underway for the first phase of the system, which stretches 2.7 miles in northeast D.C.
“We have one train on the the system along H Street and Benning,” Sanders says. “We hope to add another car sometime next month.”
Plans for the future may include up to 37 miles of streetcar coverage in D.C.