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More than 50 individuals enrolled in the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Modified Property Maintenance Apprenticeship Training Program and began working this week.

The new six-month program which provides DCHA customers the opportunity to learn job skills while also working to enhance the appearance and curb appeal of DCHA properties was developed by DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett in response to community concerns highlighted during a series of town hall meetings and listening sessions he has been holding with residents.

“This program highlights DCHA’s commitment and continued efforts to improve the quality of life for DCHA residents by providing job training opportunities while residents earn an income with the goal of creating a path toward sustained gainful employment and self-sufficiency,” Garrett said. “DCHA is excited to leverage existing resources and to develop new relationships with employers to identify potential employment and other opportunities for trainees.”

Since his arrival to the agency, Garrett has been on a listening tour, visiting each DCHA community to hear residents’ ideas and concerns. He also has been engaging with residents during one-on-one meetings. The tour is helping to shape his priorities for the agency as he moves forward. The apprenticeship program is one of the first initiatives to come from these conversations.

“DCHA residents are a source of labor that have tremendous potential to develop, nurture, and grow into qualified applicants for established positions required to support the mission of the agency,” said Director of DCHA’s Human Resources Department Paulette Campbell,. “We have a unique opportunity to help shape the lives of our residents by offering workforce development and life skills training, providing trainees the chance to earn income while they learn on the job and support their goal to secure permanent employment.”

More than 150 people interviewed to participate in the program, which begins with a base pay rate of $13 per hour. Orientation regarding the agency’s rules and regulations, as well as safety training, began March 12, 2018 for the participants. They will work Mondays through Thursday for five hours each day. Each Friday will be an optional professional development day for trainees.

At the end of the program the top performers will compete for permanent positions within DCHA and with contractors who do business with DCHA.

”The Office of Resident Services will engage local employers to establish partnerships and secure commitments for program graduates to interview for available positions with their companies. From the outset, trainees understand that they control their destiny because their performance will be a key factor to determine whether they can compete for available positions,” said DCHA’s Office of Resident Services Director Larry Williams.

“I live in Ward 8 and a resident of D.C. Housing. This is a great opportunity in the community to build and fix things,” said Stephen Station, a new apprentice.

“The opportunity they gave us is beautiful,” said apprentice Travis McGill. “I never thought I’d be doing this and that I’d like it.”

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Last modified: 3/28/2018 3:10:17 PM