Getting more D.C. residents in local jobs with paid training is the aim of several new grants announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday afternoon.
Bowser said that the District’s Workforce Investment Council has awarded $5 million in grants to support employer-led training partnerships and career coaches for District residents.
Additionally, the D.C. Department of Employment Services is taking applications for its $10 million Job Readiness Training Grant Program, which will assist young adults and adult residents facing multiple barriers to employment.
“I get to go across all eight wards and encounter D.C. residents who are bright and talented and want to work hard and need a fair shot. And that’s what we’re here to do,” Bowser said during an event at the D.C. Infrastructure Academy in Southeast.
Bowser opened the academy in March 2018 to create a pipeline to jobs in the growing infrastructure sector. Since then, more than 1,900 D.C. residents have completed a training program there.
“Residents want to know that when they commit to training, and doing all that we ask them to do, that there is a job at the other end of that training,” Bowser said.
Bowser also invested an additional $5.2 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to expand the D.C. Infrastructure Academy to 200 more residents.
She said that the D.C. Infrastructure Academy has a 90% employment rate at the end of its program. She said in addition, Pepco’s training program has a 100% employment rate.
“Everybody needs employees. That’s what I know right now, everybody is looking for employees. So we’re going to help train them,” Bowser said.
She said she also plans to expand the D.C. Infrastructure Academy in the future.
“We love this building but it’s not big enough. It doesn’t let us do everything that we want to do. So we’re going to get a new home for the Infrastructure Academy,” Bowser said.