Collaboration is at the heart of a strong
workforce development initiative.
For the JOBS Coalition, collaboration
is rooted in public-private partnerships connecting community
residents and faith-based organizations with construction
companies and other businesses to develop long-term solutions
to employment challenges. Working together strengthens apprenticeships,
job training and placement programs, and educational opportunities
for youth and adults. A discussion of workforce development
includes addressing issues of vocational education, life
skills training, employment for returning ex-offenders,
and strategies for retaining employment for hired individuals.
The JOBS Coalition’s outreach efforts in workforce
development extend to:
- Returning ex-offenders.
Barriers to employment include housing, transportation,
lack of education, a history of substance abuse or mental
health challenges, and employer perception and liability
- High school students. Vocational
education was once a staple of a school's curriculum.
Today, there is renewed interest in rebuilding traditional
pathways to success by introducing students to carpentry,
electrical and other skilled trades.
- Any underserved, underemployed
or unemployed resident of the District of Columbia.
Every District resident should have access to job skills
training and educational opportunities that prepare them
for the job market.
CTE: Career & Technical Education
Creative approaches to learning are vital
to the academic and life success of students who may choose
not to follow the typical high school to college path. That’s
why the JOBS Coalition is dedicated to providing District
students with access to training in skilled trades to prepare
them for careers in the construction industry after graduation.
Career and Technical Education, or CTE, includes training
in trades such as carpentry and electrical. An academic-based
program like that of the Academy of Construction and Design
combines blueprint reading and other technical skills with
core classes of math and science. Apprenticeship training
in skilled trades also benefits adult students already working
in the field. Through CTE, students at every level are able
to explore opportunities for success.
Getting one’s life back on
track is particularly challenging for returning ex-offenders,
who face a series of barriers to employment after release
from jail, prison or halfway housing. Drug addiction, illiteracy,
lack of transportation, and housing issues are among the
biggest obstacles this population faces following incarceration.
Through job fairs, citywide issue forums and career development
initiatives, the JOBS Coalition is working to remove these
barriers while developing re-entry strategies to get these
“We’re trying to get the city’s
political body to understand that the business community
is every bit as serious as they are about finding
ways to employ people.”
— John McMahon,
chairman, Miller & Long Concrete Construction