(WASHINGTON, DC) — Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced that the District’s recently launched Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) is on target to meet its goal of recruiting, training and hiring D.C. residents to work on five school modernization construction projects this summer.
As of the first week of July, 110 District residents have been hired for the projects and make up 51 percent of total hours worked thus far – exceeding goals of having District residents account for at least 100 workers and 35 percent of hours worked on the projects. The trial initiative is being implemented by the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) before eventually expanding to other District projects.
“We are close to the midpoint of this project, and we are well on our way to exceeding our goal,” said Mayor Gray. “And the numbers are growing.”
The 110 workers have been hired as the result of three WIP job fairs. Twenty-five of these workers received job training and were immediately hired as a result of the training they received.
“There has been a tremendous response from our contractors, who have shown their commitment to this program,” said City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, who incubated the program in his previous position as OPEFM Director. “There is also an investment from the DC community to help ensure this program is a success.”
The pilot WIP initially involves five District-funded classroom modernization projects: Hart Middle School (Ward 8), Seaton Elementary School (Ward 2), Maury Elementary School (Ward 6), Langley Educational Center (Ward 5) and Takoma Elementary School (Ward 4).
“I am very pleased with the progress of the WIP program thus far,” said Ollie Harper, Jr., Acting Executive Director of OPEFM. “It took the work of the contractors and as well as the collaborative effort of staff from several DC government agencies, working together, to make something of this magnitude happen.”