make work possible
The District’s economy is among the strongest in the nation due to the strength and diversity of its workforce. It is projected that the District will need more than 252,000 new workers by 2020. Yet, for many District residents steady work remains out of reach because they lack the skills and supports needed to find, obtain and keep a job.
According to the 2010 census, poverty in the District is at its highest level in 30 years. The employment rate for African-American residents and residents with only a high school diploma are also at their lowest levels in nearly three decades. As many as 60,000 low-income District adults lack the skills to obtain a living wage job.
Basic literacy and a high school degree are pre-requisites for many of the jobs available today; however, decades of under-performing schools mean that many residents lack the basic skills and certifications needed to succeed in the workforce. By 2018, 70 percent of jobs in the city are projected to require education beyond high school.