At the D.C. Infrastructure Academy (DCIA) in Southeast Washington, trainees learn by doing, getting the kind of hands-on training needed to fill critical infrastructure jobs.
“It gives them a great opportunity to go out and better themselves and get them a good job,” said Jon Granger of AUI Power.
Since 2019, almost 2,000 people have completed training in a variety of industries, from manual labor to information technology.
Graduate Monet Rogers now works for Pepco.
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“I came in here really not knowing anything or what I was getting into and I left out of here with a lot of knowledge and a lot of information that I’m able to put in use at my job now,” she said.
The District wants to double down on the work being done at DCIA and is calling on the private sector to do the same.
Mayor Muriel Bowser let companies know there’s millions of dollars in funding available to support employer-led training partnerships, paid job readiness training programs and apprenticeships.
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“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,” she said.
The call to invest the time and money in the District’s future labor force comes ahead of the District’s largest ever job fair – scheduled for next week.
More than 500 positions are available across the D.C. government landscape.
“That’s the name of the game here is growth,” D.C. Office of Human Resources Interim Director Lindsey Maxwell said. “One of the things that we’ve done is we’ve invested a lot of money and time into programs that really are able to get at young people when they’re coming out of high school, coming out of college and train them. That’s what we want.”
DCIA and job-training programs like it not only raised Rogers’ career prospects but changed her life. She wants to turn that job at Pepco into a career. She says it’s a path anyone in D.C. can walk.
“If you chase the knowledge, the money will come,” she said. “You have to think about yourself and you have to think about how you can benefit your family and how you can put yourself in a better position.”
Find information for employers looking to apply for funding for job-readiness programs here.