Career Development and Training in the District of Columbia

Career Development and Training in the District of Columbia

The government of the District of Columbia is committed to getting residents into District jobs. Many neighborhoods have 25% unemployment rates due to the fact that non-residents are in positions District residents are capable of obtaining.

The First Source Law

The First Source Law requires city contractors to hire a certain percentage of District residents. Passed in 1984, it had a zero enforcement rate. Therefore, the government launched a pilot program to provide incentives to contractors and other employers to hire more District residents to complete the many revitalization development projects scheduled for Washington.

DC Works!

Information about the local government enterprises along with job placement, career counseling, and other employment resources can be found at any DC Works! Career Centers. DC Works! is part of the national network of One-Stop Career Centers. Find self-service databases, applications, or make an in-person appointment by visiting the DC Works! web site at

Workforce Investment Council

The following technical, hospitality, and carpentry programs are just a few of the career development projects designed to help residents become productive and independent citizens.

Career Technical Education (CTE) - Free job training and skill development are available to District residents, 18 and older, through the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES). The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education partnered with the DOES so that individuals can get proper education and skills training needed to be competitive and rapidly growing technical sectors. CTE classes are scheduled in the evening so that they are more easily accessible to employed residents.

Hospitality Program - Tourism is one of the greatest industries in the nation's capital. Hotel and restaurant workers are always in demand. The Hospitality Career Technical Education Program provides District residents with an opportunity to gain hands-on work experience in the hospitality sector.

The nine-week training program involves classroom and practical education allowing participants to learn about this high-growth industry. Guest speakers, behind-the-scenes hotel visits and job mentors give those interested in tourism and service a sense of what their career will entail.

Upon successful completion, participants are granted an industry-recognized certification. Students are then assigned to a three-month externship in one of the world-famous accommodation or food service establishments in the city. Job placement, career counseling, and resume and interview assistance are also service provided with the hospitality program.

Carpentry Program - The pre-apprentice program offers basic skills needed to enter into and complete a trade apprenticeship. The no-cost program also offers job readiness training and math refresher courses. Applicants must be 18-years old and have a high school diploma or GED.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Collaborative - Green Jobs

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Collaborative was designed to study the current labor market in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia with the goal of creating strategies and tactics to expand the economy in a more sustainable manner. The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration bestowed a $4 million grant to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation on behalf of the whole region. A comprehensive web site,, contains information on jobs, training programs and employment data for those interested in green jobs.