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Obama Administration Highlights District Programs to Train Returning Citizens for High-Tech Careers

Monday, November 2, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Today, the White House highlighted the District of Columbia as a community taking action to expand high-tech jobs to returning citizens. As part of the Obama Administration’s TechHire Initiative, the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) is working with a group of stakeholders to train and put 200 returning citizens to work in high-tech careers.

“The District shares the President’s commitment to giving returning citizens the tools they need to succeed when they get home,” said Mayor Bowser. “By focusing on high-growth industries like technology, we are preparing our residents for long-term careers that put them on a pathway to the middle class. I have charged District government agencies to work with local and federal partners to expand economic opportunities for all residents, including our returning citizens.”

DOES has already begun engaging with partners, including the Federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA), the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC), the Workforce Investment Council (WIC), the DC Chamber of Commerce, the HOPE Project and other stakeholders.

With a goal of placing at least 75 percent of the trained returning citizens in permanent employment, the DC TechHire initiative has employer commitments from Competitive Innovations, Prism Inc., and Veredus. The District will continue to engage local technology companies to review modifications to their hiring process and develop competency-based tech curricula for individuals with a criminal record.

“The Department of Employment Services is proud to join the White House and our District partners in this tremendous effort,” said DOES Director Deborah A. Carroll. “This initiative serves as yet another support for returning citizens who are coming back to our community in search of meaningful employment opportunities. With dedicated training, job placement resources, and strategic community partnerships, DOES and our partners are committed to meeting and exceeding our goal of at least 75 percent of TechHire participants landing permanent employment.”

This program will begin placing residents in training within the next 60 days.