Prince George’s County, Maryland, residents will have improved access to job training and good-paying jobs when the Labor Department’s first American Job Center to open since 2008 comes to the National Harbor branch at Tanger Outlets.
The American Job Center at National Harbor opens Oct. 25 and involves a federal, state and local partnership that also encompasses local businesses and nonprofits.
“It’s the only membership network in the country,” said Walter Simmons, president and CEO of Employ Prince George’s, the county’s workforce development agency.
“We have for-profit service providers, educational institutions, government agencies, that all provide services. And unlike any other area in the country, they all partner and share our job secrets and help people move into living-wage jobs,” he said.
Within walking distance of the site are 16,000 jobs from employers such as the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, MGM National Harbor and 65 retail outlets at Tanger Outlets.
The site expects to help connect 10,000 local businesses and residents a year, from 14-year-olds through an in-school program to the Encore program for people over 50.
“We can do everything from basic skills, career readiness training, occupational skills training, and actually have you meet with an employer on site for your first interview,” Simmons said. “So from not having your basic skills or having your credentials to your first day employment, you can do everything at American Job Center National Harbor.”
The Tanger Outlet location is one of the only American Job Centers in the nation that can stream all its services.
“So you can get services in person, or you can get services in your laptop, but anybody can be in a workshop at American Job Center National Harbor,” Simmons said.
“We’re interested in investing in people, in their lives, in their livelihood, in their families, in their futures,” said County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “And that is what the American Job Center really does represent for us. It’s not just jobs; this is about people.”
Also at the event, Deputy U.S. Labor Secretary Julie A. Su said the jobs center will help fulfill several cornerstones of the Biden administration’s approach to workforce — equity, job quality and ensuring women, people of color and underrepresented people have access to opportunities.
“We know that jobs and measuring job quality has always been about more than just wages, right? It is about wages; of course it’s about hours and stability, but it’s also about dignity,” Su said.
“It’s about impact. It’s about sense of purpose and self-worth. And so we’re all here today because we’re committed to making sure that all Prince Georgians feel that sense of dignity and impact and self-worth that they can get from having a good job.”
Funding to build the site was secured also with the support of the Office of the County Executive, County Council and the Local Development Council.
The American Job Center National Harbor is at 6800 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 298, of the Tanger Outlets, next to Polo and facing MGM.