The JOBS Coalition is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and seeks solutions for the workforce challenges facing the chronically unemployed, underemployed, underserved and returning ex-offenders across Washington, D.C. We also focus on vocational education as a promising pathway for youth. By working with faith-based partners, construction industry leaders and community-based organizations, we inform hard-to-employ residents about the skills needed for employment in the construction trades, and identify available jobs and opportunities for training. Started in 2001, the JOBS Coalition continues to work towards strengthening apprenticeship, training and job placement programs across the city.
We will work together to develop a long-term strategy that creates an environment where aspiring District residents will have unprecedented opportunity to succeed. We strive to create a fair and open system, supported by government, industry, employers and the education and faith-based communities, which seeks to properly train today’s apprentices while making an unparalleled commitment to educating students and others not yet in the workforce.
Timeline of JOBS Coalition History
The JOBS Coalition started in 2001 to raise awareness of employment challenges and potential barriers to employment in the District of Columbia. Through its members combining their resources and industry expertise, the JOBS Coalition has been able to achieve the following:
- Hosts a series of two-day job forums/job fairs to help the hard-to-employ, including returning ex-offenders, find job opportunities in the construction industry.
- Hosts its first forum, on the need for vocational education reform in the District.
- Co-sponsors the D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s economic summit on the state of business in the District of Columbia.
- Officially opens the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo (now the Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus), providing District students with access, training and preparation for careers in the construction industry and trades after graduation.
Hosts a series of issue forums on:
- The District’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative ahead of the mid-term elections (2014).
- Unemployment in the District of Columbia and how clergy and business can work together to address the issue (2012).
- Employment challenges facing returning ex-offenders (2008).
- Workforce equality for local, small and disadvantaged businesses (2005).
- Strategies and policies proposed by mayoral candidates to strengthen workforce development citywide (2005).
- Testifies before the D.C. Council’s Committee on Education to fast track appointments to the city’s Vocational Education Commission.
- Testifies before the D.C. Council on ex-offender rights and strategies and focuses on housing, education, healthcare, rehabilitation, job training and employment for successful community re-entry.
- Develops a task force of government agencies, community and faith-based organizations, and employers aimed at reducing employment challenges and improving on-the-job performance for returning citizens.
- Unveils the “Accords of Corporate, Civic and Faith-Based Responsibility in the District of Columbia,” a collaborative effort to improve vocational and technical training, and educational opportunities for city residents.
- Continues grassroots efforts to support employment for returning citizens, education and community development within Wards 7 and 8, violence prevention in D.C. schools, and programs and student outreach by the nonprofit D.C. Students Construction Trades Program.