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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Outlines Economic Development Agenda and Tours SYEP Sites


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(WASHINGTON, DC) — Today Mayor Vincent C. Gray focused on his job creation and economic development agenda by providing an update on his strategy for job growth and kicking off the District’s renovated Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) for 2011.

With the unemployment rate in some parts of the District near 20 percent or higher, Mayor Gray has outlined an accelerated jobs-and-economic-development plan that includes workforce development and training, real estate development, new job opportunities, revitalized communities and major investments in neighborhood economic development projects. These efforts will equip unemployed and underemployed residents with the skills and resources they need to find good jobs.

“I strongly believe in a District of Columbia that is a thriving commercial hub -- the ideal environment for people of enterprise to bring their ideas to life -- and a city that acts as a magnet for businesses big and small to hire residents who are being equipped with the necessary skills to become part of our expanding workforce,” said Mayor Gray.

Mayor Gray outlined his economic-development efforts and plans along with other District government officials and local and regional business leaders at The Yards Park, a mixed-use development in Southeast Washington that is one of several formerly stalled development projects around the District that are getting back on track.

The Mayor’s economic-development team has already implemented several initiatives aimed at workforce development, such as reforming SYEP, creating the new One-Stop Centers in collaboration with the Community College of DC, the Ballou High School Automotive Technology Center for educational and job readiness training in the automotive industry, and the revitalization of the District’s First Source law and program.

As part of his jobs-and-economic-development emphasis, Mayor Gray also helped kick off this year’s Summer Youth Employment Program today. He toured two of the worksites – Clyde’s Restaurant of Gallery Place and DC Central kitchen – where more than 12,000 District youth are working this summer.

**Note: A copy of Mayor Gray’s speech from this morning’s press event is attached below**