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New Year, New Mayor, New Ideas for Workforce Development

December 21, 2010

By Sarah Oldmixon, Director, Workforce Initiatives

The beginning of the new year brings with it new political beginnings for the District of Columbia. With a new mayor, Vincent Gray, at the helm, the District’s leadership will be different in 2011 but many  realities will remain the same—including its lingering high unemployment figures.

This week, several prominent local workforce development policy researchers and advocates unveiled their recommendations for the new administration to support Mayor-elect Gray’s vision for the future of workforce and economic development in the District. These leaders, convened through The Community Foundation’s Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, presented two briefs on how to improve the quality of workforce development infrastructure and policy:

 —  Transforming Workforce Development in the District: Building a Strong Leadership Structure and Contributing to an Economic Opportunity Agenda sets forth a vision for effective workforce development leadership that can promote inclusive economic growth in the District of Columbia. 

Reforming First Source: Strengthening the Link Between Economic Development and Jobs discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the District’s current First Source policy and suggests an innovative solution that promises benefits for employers and workers alike.  

The briefs were prepared as a collaborative effort among staff from organizations including DC Appleseed and Greater Washington Research at Brookings, as well as the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, the DC Employment Justice Center, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, the DC Jobs Council, the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, and the Local Initiatives Support Collaborative (LISC). Collectively, these organizations have deep expertise in workforce and economic development policy.

With these recommendations, the city’s leaders can take bold steps to ensure that the next four years will paint a brighter picture of employment and quality of life for residents.

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