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Mayor Bowser Highlights Big Investments in Bringing Back Jobs

Monday, June 14, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by community members and business leaders to highlight her robust investments in bringing jobs and business back to DC. The Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2022 Fair Shot Budget proposal uses the significant federal aid received through the American Rescue Plan to invest more than $250 million in the coming fiscal year, and more than $630 million through Fiscal Year 2025, in business attraction and retention, earn and learn workforce programs, skills training and career navigation programs, and financial support and empowerment for workers and job-seekers. By ensuring Washington, DC is competitive in attracting new high-growth companies, these investments will create jobs, support the city’s strong economic recovery, and restore the vibrancy of downtown.

“One of the best ways we can help our residents, workers, and businesses recover is by bringing jobs back to DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we bring business and jobs back to DC, that is really about bringing opportunity to our residents. We’re not just investing in jobs, we’re investing in the people who we want to fill those jobs and the residents whose lives – and livelihoods – were disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.”

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated economic inequities in the District, with Black and Brown workers and residents without college degrees experiencing disproportionally high rates of unemployment and job loss. Additionally, while there was a 1.3% decrease in men’s workforce participation during the pandemic, there was a 5.4% decrease in women’s workforce participation. To address these disparities and make DC’s prosperity more inclusive, the Mayor’s workforce investments are focused on ensuring DC residents are trained and hired for high-demand, high-wage DC jobs.

Investments in the Mayor’s #FairShot FY22 budget proposal include:

  • $30 million for a new Employment Center Vitality and Local Job Creation fund to attract high-impact employers to the District​
  • $23.2 million to address urgent increased demand from unemployed residents through a surge in high-impact credentialing and by connecting more job-seekers to employment:
  • $5.9 million for Rapid Reskilling Fund providing high-demand workforce certifications for 700 residents.
  • $12.8 million for DC Futures – tuition and student support to provide free AA/BA degrees to 1,500 residents
  • $4.5 million for Career Coaches to support 5,000 unemployed residents in connecting to the employment and training opportunities that best meet their skills and experience
  • $49 million to reimagine our workforce system through expanded paid opportunities to learn on the job and prioritizing an employer-driven training system
    • 333 apprenticeships for youth and adults, including apprenticeships within DC government
    • Subsidized employment for 1,825 residents with barriers to employment
    • On-the-job training funding for 82 residents
    • Expansion of the DC Infrastructure Academy to serve 355 residents
    • Employer-led training grants to create new training programs that meet employers needs and train 750 residents
  • $1.5 million to expand Solar Works DC, training an additional 75 DC residents a year for careers in the solar energy industry​
  • $4.2 million to add 4,200 seats to the Summer Youth Employment Program for an Earn and Learn model for high school students who need credit recovery or summer learning
  • $500,000 for workforce training for LGBTQ+ residents

“Mayor Bowser’s investments in the Fair Shot Budget will create jobs for DC residents and give more Washingtonians a fair shot,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “We have always seen our comeback in three phases: relief, recovery and growth. As we begin our recovery, job creation needs our attention and our investment, and we call upon the Council to support these initiatives to support our comeback.”

“Mayor Bowser’s budget reimagines how the DOES and the District as a whole can operate,” said Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes. “The Mayor knows that investing in reskilling, education, and infrastructure has long lasting, transformative potential. These priorities can provide a path to the middle class for District residents across all 8 wards.”

The budget builds on the Mayor’s efforts throughout the pandemic to prioritize supports for residents and businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. Already, DC has awarded more than $155 million in relief funding to local businesses. The District’s continued efforts to meet the existing and future COVID-19-related needs of our community include managing and disbursing:

  • The $100 million Bridge Fund to support the hotel, restaurant, retail and entertainment industries;
  • $34 million to 6,500 businesses through our DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Program;
  • $3.5 million in Streatery Winter Ready Grants;
  • Over $5 million in COVID-19 relief funding to local child care facilities;
  • $793,166 to 183 businesses through the DC East of the River Small Business Economic Relief Microgrant Program; and
  • Fully implementing numerous new programs including Paid Family Leave and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

“We are grateful to Mayor Bowser and Deputy Mayor Falcicchio for their leadership in helping our city recover from the impact of this pandemic,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID. “The FY 2022 budget proposal illustrates a strong commitment to bringing back jobs to DC residents while re-establishing a thriving central business district in our Golden Triangle community and across our nation’s capital.”

To learn more about Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal, visit budget.dc.gov.