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Brown to Fenty: 'Get D.C. Residents Job Training Now'

At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown (D) didn't mince words when naming a bill he submitted in yesterday's D.C. Council legislative session. It's called the "Get D.C. Residents Training for Jobs Now Act."

The act would compel Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to create a job training program for adults by opening certain schools at night and on the weekends. At least eight of Brown's colleagues supported the bill, now in the committee on housing workforce development.

Currently D.C. provides job training to high school students but not adults. In a statement, Brown's office said the legislation requires that job-training programs be made available for adults at three District-owned facilities currently offering career technical training programs for high school students -- the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo Senior High School, the Hospitality High School at Roosevelt, and Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School.

As the city's unemployment rate soars above 8 percent, Brown, chair of the economic development committee, said he's been besieged by residents at appearances and family outings asking what he can do to get them jobs.

In the financial crisis, there's not much work to be had. For many D.C. residents, the chance of finding work is even harder because they're poorly trained for what's available: hospitality work, small construction jobs such as weatherstripping and carpentry, the list goes on.

There are more than 700,000 jobs being worked in the city, according to the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, and 450,000 of them are filled by people who live outside the District. Federal law forbids the city from taxing non-residents, so the District loses about $200 million a year in potential revenue.

Training, Brown said, could offset the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide, and the District should be at the forefront. "Despite the reports, I believe our nation and the District can rebuild," he said. "I believe that there are opportunities for growth right at our doorstep."

By Darryl Fears  |  March 4, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Economic Development , Mayor Fenty  
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Next: Fenty Administration Is a Family Affair


Good luck, Councilmember Brown,the former Director of DOES, Summer Spencer, tried to
get Mayor Fenty to create a job training program for adults.She tried to get the mayor to do many things to create jobs for DC citizens.I hope you have better luck.

Posted by: DCWatcher3 | March 4, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I am glad to see CM Kwame Brown and the Council taking action, meeting President Obama’s challenge for Americans to seek additional college instruction, career training, and/or enrolling in an apprenticeship/vocational education programs as a means of rebuilding the American workforce and the American economy. Can we keep DC residents working? Yes! We Can!!!

Posted by: KwameFan | March 4, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Fenty doesn't trouble himself with such matters when his only concern is securing jobs for his friends and their family members.

Posted by: logosdesigns | March 4, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

What is this? It's a little late for K. Brown to start showing that he cares or that he is even in the game. Chairman of Economic Development? Hello... Economic development was given to the mayor along with control of the schools. That is why the big boys from New York are having fundraisers for the next campaign. While Brown's issue may be correct and a good one, who can take him seriously when he has been one of the major suck-ups to the mayor. His voting? yes to mayoral takeover, at will employees and the infamous "present" vote for Peter Nickles. He should have called in sick that day and he's still suffering from that illness. Nocredibilityitis!!!! It also seems to be contagious Just look at the council. The saddest one ever.

Posted by: candycane1 | March 4, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

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