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2019 Articles

DECEMBER

D.C. charters say the city needs to give them empty buildings. The city says no.
December 15, 2019
The Washington Post//Perry Stein 

Charter advocates insist that by using only a small part of some buildings, the city is pursuing a strategy of holding on to the structures — and keeping them out of the hands of charter operators. They point to the original Malcolm X Elementary, a shuttered campus in Southeast Washington, as an example of a building that should be leased to a charter. Kihn said that building is used by two city agencies, the Department of Employment Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

District of Columbia Releases 2020 Unemployment Tax Rates
December 10, 2019
Bloomberg Tax//Jazlyn Williams 

The District of Columbia’s unemployment tax rates are to be unchanged for 2020, a spokesman for D.C. Department of Employment Services said Dec.10.

United States: New Year, New Notice Requirement: DC Paid Family Leave Notice Requirements Take Effect January 1, 2020
December 9, 2019
Foley//Jillian M. Collins

As we’ve previously reported, paid family leave laws have been sweeping the country.  While employees will not become eligible to take paid family leave (PFL) under the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act (UPLA) until July 1, 2020, employers must begin complying with the law’s notice requirements on January 1, 2020.  The law contains multiple notice requirements for employers and a failure to comply may result in significant penalties.

Day centers put vital services for people experiencing homelessness in one place
December 4, 2019
Greater Greater Washington// Will Schick (Fellow)

The center is supported by partnerships with a host of local organizations, including the DC Public Library, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Pathways to Housing, Catholic Charities (which provides the meal service), Unity Health Care, the Department of Health, the Economic Security Administration, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, the Department of Employment Services, HIPs, and the Department of Human Services. These partners and teams of regular volunteers make the work at the center possible, Albert says.

NOVEMBER

Former Express Distributors Are Still Waiting To Receive Thousands Of Crowdfunded Dollars
November 25, 2019
The DCist//Rachel Kurzius

The Washington Post announced it was shutting down its free daily paper, Express, less than 24 hours before the final edition came out on September 12. More than two months later, the contract workers who distributed the newspaper each day are still waiting to receive money raised on their behalf.

Months Later, Former Express Distributors Haven’t Seen Thousands Of Dollars Crowdfunded For Them
November 25, 2019
WAMU 88.5//Rachel Kurzius 

The Washington Post announced it was shutting down its free daily paper, Express, less than 24 hours before the final edition came out on Sept. 12. More than two months later, the contract workers who distributed the newspaper each day are still waiting to receive money raised on their behalf.

A Leaked Document Raises Questions About a Multi-Million Dollar Contract
November 14, 2019
The Washington City Paper//Mitch Ryals  

In October, D.C. chief contracting officer Derrick White emailed Dash Kiridena, the CEO of a local IT company, CODICE, with some bad news.
Kiridena’s bid for a $13 million dollar contract to modernize the District’s unemployment insurance tax system was rejected. White wrote in the Oct. 9 email that although Kiridena’s proposal was impressive, “the contract has been awarded to the highest-ranked offeror, Sagitec Solutions, LLC.”

Commuter Benefits Now Required
November 4, 2019 
JD Supra// 

Many professional musicians travel significant distances for work, whether it be the desired orchestra position in another city or a summer music institute position. Musicians in touring groups may spend more time on the road than at home. For musicians who must travel by air, the cost can be high.  

Washington DC construction firms cheat on First Source local hiring
November 3, 2019
Valliant News//Robert Smith

The push to get local construction firms to hire city workers is falling badly short of its goals, with companies facing little risk of penalties for noncompliance and numerous ways to cheat the system.
 
OCTOBER

Job training: What does it mean?
October 31, 2019
Washington Times//Deborah Simmons 

When “Ruth Black” lost her job a few years back, she began staying in close contact with D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES).

No Benefits for Transit Employee Who Fell on Train Platform
October 24, 2019 
Workers Comp Central//

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that a transit authority employee was not entitled to benefits for her injuries from a fall on a train platform as she was making her way to work. Case: Niles v. District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, No. 18-AA-479, 10/10/2019, published.

Bowser Wants Full Employment in D.C.
October 23, 2019 
The Washington Informer//James Wright 

The District’s economy continues to boom but not everyone has benefited from the economic feast, so Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to make sure that all residents are at the table.

Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions Provides The Services Needed To Comply With The Commuter Law In Washington, D.C.
October 15, 2019
Yahoo Finance//Cision

Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions offers the programs and support to ensure that Washington, D.C. businesses are in compliance with the city's commuter law.
Recent news from the Department of Employment Services in DC stated that beginning November 14th, D.C. employers who are not in compliance with the law will be subject to fines1.

Press Release: Councilmember Vincent C. Gray’s Statement in Response to Arrests Made for the Attack on a Transgender Woman in Ward 7
October 16, 2019
The DC Line//Press Release
 
That is one reason why, as Mayor, I directed the Department of Employment Services, the Office of Human Rights and my Office of LGBTQ Affairs to develop and implement a six-week transitional employment program benefitting members of the transgender community.  This initiative was the first of its kind.

Press Release: DC Public Schools Releases Personalized Student Guide to Graduation, Career, and College for Seniors
October 9, 2019
DC Line//Press Release 

Students who participate in the program have an opportunity to enter in-demand fields that are aligned with their skills and interests after graduation. The Career Bridge program partners with the DC Infrastructure Academy launched by Mayor Bowser, the Department of Employment Services, Pepco, the Finishing Trades Institute Apprenticeship Program, and other organizations. DCPS places the students in professional development cohorts by the school in the fall and by the employer in the spring, toward the goal of providing students with supports, partnering with employers to secure job and apprenticeship offers after graduation, ensuring more students receive professional certifications and setting them up for success in college and career.
 
How resident mistrust plays into cities' uncertain futures
October 9, 2019 
Smart Cities Dive//Chris Teale
 
Unique Morris-Hughes, director of DC’s Department of Employment Services, said it represents "one of the most exciting times" for workforce development in DC, although it will be imperative that residents be competitive in the marketplace.
 

SEPTEMBER

New Workforce Development Board Director Plans To Innovate
September 24, 2019
Levittown Now.com//Staff

The new director of the Bucks County Workforce Development Board began at her post recently.
Billie Barnes started working as the director of the Bucks County Workforce Development Board at the end of August. She joined the organization – one of 22 in the state – with 25 years of experience.
 

Silverman Introduces Bill to Increase First Source Job Opportunities for D.C. Residents
September 17, 2019 
The DC Line//Press Release 

Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), chair of the D.C. Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, today introduced legislation to ensure D.C. residents have access to information about jobs and hiring outcomes from taxpayer-funded projects subject to the District’s First Source law. The bill, the First Source Community Accountability Amendment Act of 2019, proposes three changes to existing First Source law designed to increase transparency and accountability. First Source is supposed to benefit District residents by giving them first-shot at employment from taxpayer-subsidized projects.
 
Councilmember Todd Introduces the “Domestic Workers Protection Act of 2019”
September 17, 2019
The DC Line//Press Release 

Today, Councilmember Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) introduced the “Domestic Workers Act of 2019” at the Council of the District of Columbia’s legislative meeting.
This bill would extend the District of Columbia’s labor and employment protections to domestic workers who perform work in and about private households in the District. The legislation would also provide community-based education, outreach, and enforcement of domestic workers’ labor and employment rights.
 
Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie Introduces Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) and First Source Bill to Address Transparency, Accountability, and Compliance
September 17, 2019
The DC Line//

Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, introduced the Independent Compliance Office Establishment Act of 2019. The legislation would create a new independent Office of the Chief Compliance Officer which would have purview of certification and enforcement over the Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) program and First Source employment program. Those programs are currently located within the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DLSBD) and the Department of Employment Services (DOES), respectively.
 

Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee calls for $3 million for the grants program
September 13, 2019
The Washington Blade//Lou Chibbaro Jr. 

Several transgender activists questioned the Department of Employment Services’ Job Coach, Charles Smith, and its deputy director, Charles Jones, about Project Empowerment, a program started by former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to provide job training for transgender people. Two of the activists said the program was not working for many of the transgender women of color who remain unable to find work.

‘Born Out Of The Fight Against 77,’ Restaurant Workers Form A New Advocacy Group
September 13, 2019
Dcist//Rachel Kurzius 

Valerie Torres, who has been in and out of the restaurant industry for the past 25 years, says she was not political before last spring. That’s when a contentious debate about tipped wages began making its way into the public sphere.

Mentoring Program to be Launched in Amin Muslim’s Honor
September 11, 2019     
The Washington Informer//Sam P. K. Colliins 
Two violence-interruption stalwarts have launched a mentoring program in honor of the late Amin Muslim, a highly regarded community advocate who worked to build a bridge between disaffected residents and D.C. officials and agencies.
….. Throughout the next few years, he helped shape DC Parks and Recreation’s Boxing Under the Stars and Project Empowerment, a Department of Employment Services workforce development program.

D.C. Streetcar could be expanded two miles eastward, across the Anacostia River
September 9, 2019
Curbed DC//Andrew Giambrone
Service on the 2.2-mile D.C. Streetcar would almost double in length and stretch across the Anacostia River to the Benning Road Metro stop under preliminary designs that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is studying. The upcoming community meeting, which DDOT describes as an “open house,” is set to take place September 19 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the offices of D.C.’s Department of Employment Services, located at 4058 Minnesota Avenue NE, near the area’s Metro station.

Campbell Challenges Trayon White for Council Seat
September 4, 2019
The Washington Informer//James Wright

Campbell retired from the D.C. Department of Employment Services in 2013. During his tenure at the department, he served as a union shop steward and president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1000.

For some D.C. students, the challenges outside school far exceed the ones inside
September 3, 2019
The Washington Post// Courtland Milloy

At DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School, Assistant Principal Shaunte Daniel gave each student a hug as they entered the building on Tuesday morning. They smiled, some blushed, and hugged her back.
At Stanton, 100 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged. At Lafayette, only 5 percent are. In Ward 8, the unemployment rate is more than 18 percent. In Ward 4, where Lafayette is located, the unemployment rate is 5.7 percent, according to the D.C. Department of Employment Services.

AUGUST

As demand for solar energy grows, D.C. job training offers both employment and community results
August 30, 2019
The Washington Post//Cortlynn Stark 

With pliers in one pant pocket and a phone playing a ’70s electronic song in the other, Naomi Hawk stabilized a row of solar panels on an apartment roof in Southeast Washington.
She has worked with New Columbia Solar installing panels across the District since July. A program called Solar Works DC, created in 2017 through the city’s Department of Employment Services and Department of Energy and Environment, helped her get there.

Cultivating the Infrastructure Workforce in the Nation’s Capital
August 28, 2019
Eno Center for Transportation// Jeff Marootian, District Department of Transportation, Director

Earlier this spring, the District’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) and DDOT launched the Street Sign Installer Workforce Training Program in conjunction with the Infrastructure Academy. This pilot program provides both classroom and on-the-job training for District residents with a career interest in transportation. The 12-month training program includes two weeks of required classroom instruction at the DC Infrastructure Academy, preparing participants for entry-level transportation positions. Trainees then receive six weeks of on-the-job training with DDOT’s Street Sign Installation unit, earning a wage of $16.10 per hour. Upon completion of the program, participants will gain hands-on experience in sign installation and earn certifications in Flagger and OSHA-10 Construction Safety. Trainees who have completed the program also will have the opportunity to compete for employment opportunities at DDOT. The 12-month program began April 1, 2019, with six District residents enrolled in the first cohort.
 
D.C. Universal Paid Leave Update: Proposed Benefits Regulations (Coordinating Paid Leave Policies –the Devil Is In The Details)
August 27, 2019
JD Supra//

On August 9, 2019, the D.C. Office of Employment Services (DOES) took another step toward full implementation of D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (UPLA) by issuing proposed benefits regulations. In a recent post, we discussed generally the paid leave benefits-eligible employees can receive from DOES under UPLA starting July 1, 2020 for new child bonding (8 weeks), to care for a family member with a serious health condition (6 weeks), or for the employee’s own serious health condition (2 weeks), up to a maximum of 8 weeks per year, and we explained the employer payroll tax collection process currently underway to fund the new program.

Pepco, D.C. Honor First Infrastructure Academy Graduates
August 20, 2019 
The Washington Informer//Staff 

Pepco and D.C.’s Department of Employment Services recently celebrated the first graduates of the D.C. Infrastructure Academy’s Pepco Utility Training School program.

These DC residents just finished an electrical training program. Now, they're all employed
August 16, 2019
WJLA// Lesly Salazar 

On Friday, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) joined representatives from Pepco to honor 22 graduates of the Pepco Utility Training Program at the DC Infrastructure Academy (DCIA).

First-class of DC's Infrastructure Academy graduates with 100% job placement
August 16, 2019
WUSA9// [VIDEO]

The 22 graduates learned the ins and outs of working for power providers. All of them graduated Friday night with a job offer from Pepco or one of their contractors.

“a local chain of juice bars—will pay more than $10,000 in unpaid wages to 22 employees as part of a settlement in a wage theft case”
August 8, 2019 
Popville//Prince of Popville

“Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced that Turning Natural, Inc.–a local chain of juice bars–will pay more than $10,000 in unpaid wages to 22 employees as part of a settlement in a wage theft case with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The case, announced last July, alleged that Turning Natural failed to pay employees minimum wage and overtime, and failed to provide sick leave, as required by District law. Per the settlement, the company will return an average of $484 to each worker and offer retroactive sick leave to seven current employees. Turning Natural will also pay $5,000 in civil penalties to the District.

DC unemployment below the national average but rising
August 5, 2019
WTOP// Jeff Clabaugh

The Washington metro area’s unemployment rate remains below the national average, but it rose for the second straight month in June, from 3.1% in May to 3.4%.

Georgetown Program Teaches Returning Citizens To Be Entrepreneurs: ‘It Gave Me A Goal’
August 1, 2019
Dcist//Kalina Newman 

Homeless, scared, and lost, Corey Pollard had been out of jail for less than a year when he nearly gave up hope of ever returning to a normal life.
“I had been going to the halfway houses in D.C., hanging around there, and I couldn’t find a job,” he says. “I wanted to go back and do things that I had done in the past—things that were not good, and things that would get me back in prison again.”

Kojo In Your Community: Small Businesses, Entrepreneurship And Employment East Of The River
August 1, 2019
WAMU 88.5//The Kojo Nnamdi Show

What does it take to open a business in a neighborhood that some residents feel has traditionally lacked shops, restaurants and entertainment?

JULY

St. Paul Places Poetry at Residents’ Feet
July 31, 2019
Next City//Cinnamon Janzer

Since 2008, St. Paul residents can find verse stamped into the sidewalks beneath their feet.
The result of a long-standing collaboration between nonprofit Public Art St. Paul and the city’s Department of Public Works, the sidewalk poetry program is one of the ways that Minnesota’s capital city injects art into public life in new and unexpected ways while elevating local talent.
 
Why Returning Citizens Make Strong Entrepreneurs
July 31, 2019 
Next City// Emily Nonko  

This June, in front of friends, family, and Georgetown University faculty, a cohort of formerly incarcerated individuals celebrated their graduation from the Pivot Program, offered through Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. After an intensive application process and 10 months of full-time coursework, the 15 graduates earned a certificate in business and entrepreneurship.

District abruptly shuts down a site that provides summer jobs to youths
July 28, 2019

The Washington Post//Paul Schwartzman 
Kendall Bryan was beginning another day at the summer jobs program he directed in Northeast Washington a couple of weeks ago when two city officials arrived for what he thought was an unscheduled tour.

Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program: A Personal Essay
July 26, 2019

The Washington Informer//Aleisia Canty
The Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program has played a crucial role in my development as a professional in the workforce.

DC's Pathways Program Helps Graduates Find Employment
July 13, 2019
NBC4 Washington//Cory Smith and Cindy Choi

After years of crime and violence, more than a dozen young men were given a second chance when they walked across a graduation stage on Friday.
Eighteen young men graduated from D.C.'s Pathways for Young Adults Program in Northeast D.C.

East of the River Magazine – July 2019
July 7, 2019
Pg. 31

DC Fiscal Policy shares an editorial/article regarding Paid Family Leave and Minimum Wage Increase.

Marion S. Barry SYEP Turns 40
July 5, 2019
Afro American//Lenore T. Adkins 

New York-based actress/writer/producer/curator/dancer Chelsea Harrison may have completed the beloved Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program more than a decade ago, but she credits it with teaching her how to research historical figures she portrays in her one-woman shows.  

D.C. Starts Collecting Taxes to Fund New Paid-Leave Program
July 2, 2019
Lexology//Molly Ramsden and S. Michael Chittenden 

In 2017, the District of Columbia passed the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (the “Act”), which called for the creation of a paid-leave…
DC and Local Workforce

Three Generations of a Ward 7 Family Find Work and Fulfillment in Urban Farming
July 2, 2019
Washington City Paper//Laura Hayes

Maybe the next generation will figure out how to grab the community’s attention. Robinson’s son Montell Holland is working at DC UrbanGreens for the summer through the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. The Department of Employment Services-supported program helps District residents ages 14 to 24 find summer jobs with the potential to positively impact their future. Holland works five hours a day, five days a week.

D.C.’s Minimum Wage Is Now $14 (The Last Step Before Hitting $15)
July 1, 2019
DCist//Rachel Sadon

D.C.’s minimum wage is going up to $14 per hour today—the last step in a series of rate increases before the so-called “Fight for 15” is fully won.
 

JUNE

Is This Embattled D.C. Hotel Sleazier Than Trump’s?
June 29, 2019
Daily Beast//Tarpley Hitt

But the LINE DC, which opened in January of 2018, has found itself at the center... Nadeau contacted D.C.'s Department of Employment Services, and in early ...

What ELSE is going on in Washington, DC? Legislative Update for Employers that Operate in the District of Columbia
June 27, 2019
Lexology//Littler Mendelson DC

The District of Columbia Council has passed several pieces of legislation that impose significant obligations upon employers in the District of Columbia. Below is a roundup of recent laws that have been enacted in the District and key obligations of each.
 
Sankofa’s Tax Break Wins Approval From The D.C. Council
June 26, 2019 
The DCist//Rachel Kurzius

A recent audit from the Department of Employment Services was the latest analysis to determine that The Line failed to meet at least two of the seven requirements for securing the tax abatement (the hotel’s owners dispute the audit’s findings). DOES recommended that The Line go through a “substitute compliance plan,” in which the hotel pay a $600,000 penalty over four years in exchange for the $46 million tax break.

A $46 million tax break at risk over the meaning of ‘construction worker’
June 24, 2019
Washington Post//Paul Schwartzman

Sydell executives said they defined construction workers “in accordance with the standards established by” the District’s Department of Employment Services, the agency charged with monitoring whether the developer complied with the tax abatement’s requirements.

40 Years Later, Marion Barry’s Summer Jobs Program Still Employing Thousands Of D.C. Youth
June 24, 2019
WAMU 88.5//Martin Austermuhle

By most measures, Kenyan McDuffie has enjoyed an accomplished professional career. Before being elected to the D.C. Council in 2012 to represent Ward 5, he worked on Capitol Hill and then as an attorney with the federal government.

‘I wasn’t just thinking about myself’: How D.C.’s class of 2019 decided what’s next
June 23, 2019
The Washington Post//Perry Stein

They are already activists, nonprofit leaders, and world travelers. They have collected acceptance letters to prestigious universities, signed commitment letters to start jobs in the coming weeks and enrolled in academies to become police officers and firefighters.

BankThink Banks, regulators can help themselves by helping young adults
June 24, 2019
American Banker//Joseph Otting

Our program is a partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services. While our program is one small step toward expanding economic opportunity and improving financial literacy among the next generation of America’s workforce, it promises to be a life-changing experience for the young adults entering the OCC’s new program.

State Law Round-Up: Paid Leave Proliferation (CT, ME, MA, NV, DC) and Minimum Wage Update! (US)
June 13, 2019

The National Law Review//

DC Paid Family Leave Tax Begins July 1, 2019
June 11, 2019
Lexology//Vedder Price PC 

It has been several years since the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 became law, making it among the most generous paid family leave laws in the country. While employees will not be eligible for benefits until July 2020, the collection of employer taxes to fund this benefit begins in July 2019.

D.C. Businesses Brace For New Paid Leave Tax Starting July 1
June 6, 2019 
WAMU 88.5//Elly Yu 

Starting next month, D.C. will begin collecting taxes from businesses to fund its new paid leave program, which is scheduled to go into effect next year. But some businesses say there’s been confusion about how the tax is being assessed.
 

MAY

GW Hospital nurse appeals CRB decisions denying her medical treatment
May 25, 2019
The GW Hatchet//Lia DeGroot

In a one-page appeal filed late last month, operating room nurse Sara Gould asked the Department of Employment Services to reverse the board’s decision denying her a neurological consultation for a neck injury Gould said she experienced after falling at the hospital. Gould claimed the CRB’s reason to refuse her treatment is not supported by workers compensation law, a set of rules that cover payment for employees injured while working.

The Line Hotel Is Fighting For Its $46 Million Tax Break. Here’s The Backstory
May 23, 2019
The DCist//Helen Wieffering

This deal between The Line and the city is part of the First Source Employment Program, which requires any business that receives more than $300,000 in municipal funding to enter into a plan with the Department of Employment Services that outlines how it will prioritize District residents during hiring. But there may be an issue when it comes to following through on those plans: A 2018 report from the D.C. auditor found that 81 percent of these first source provisions were either not implemented or not implemented effectively between 2014-2016.

DC: Prepare for work in the electrical sector
May 22, 2019
El Tiempo Latino

Representatives of the government of Washington and the Department of Employment Services, along with executives from the electric company Pepco, inaugurated a training camp on Thursday 16 at the Infrastructure Academy located in the southeast of the capital city.

Breaking News: DCtorney General Rules Line Hotel in Adams Morgan Not Entitled for Tax Abatement; Failed to Meet Requirements
May 22, 2019
The InTowner//

“Earlier this month, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) found that the hotel had not met two of seven specific requirements legislated by the Council but said the agency had the ability to create an alternative compliance plan.”
 
D.C. Attorney General Rejects Deal to Waive Terms of Hotel’s $46 Million Tax Break
May 22, 2019
Washington Post//Peter Jamison

District officials can’t let the developer behind an upscale hotel in Adams Morgan off the hook after it failed to meet the conditions of a $46 million tax abatement awarded to the project, according to D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine. In a letter last week to D.C. Council members Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) and Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Racine said a proposed deal between the city and the developer that would allow the Line hotel to pay $600,000 to remedy its failure to meet local hiring requirements wouldn’t be legal.

Adams Morgan’s Line Hotel $46 Million Tax Abatement Appears in Jeopardy after AG Ruling unless “specific D.C. hiring requirements” met
May 21, 2019 
Popville//Prince of Petworth

“In response to a request from two D.C. Council members, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has issued a legal opinion concluding that the Bowser Administration does not have authority to waive specific D.C. hiring requirements put in law in order for the Line Hotel to qualify for a taxpayer subsidy worth up to $46 million. Earlier this month, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) found that the hotel had not met two of seven specific requirements legislated by the Council but said the agency had the ability to create an alternative compliance plan.
 
Rough ruling for the Line D.C. hotel and its bid to secure $46M tax abatement
May 21, 2019
The Washington Business Journal//Michael Neibauer

D.C. Council members Elissa Silverman, I-At large, and Brianne Nadeau, D-Ward 1, sought Attorney General Karl Racine’s opinion as to whether the Department of Employment Services may waive any conditions tied to the Line’s tax break, which the council approved in 2012.

The Director of Nightlife and Culture's Early Priorities Emerge Six Months Into Office
May 20, 2019
The Washington City Paper//Laura Hayes

Finally, Townsend says, he’s putting resources toward workforce development by linking up with the Department of Employment Services and private partners like Diageo’s Learning Skills for Life. “It’s programs like these that prepare our District residents for jobs in an industry that isn’t going anywhere,” Townsend says. “I get texts and calls all the time with people asking, ‘Do you know a good bartender or manager?’ These are good-paying jobs and there’s a high turnover in nightlife.”

National Arboretum bridge and trail project public meetings scheduled for May 21 and 22
May 17, 2019
Curbed DC//Andrew Glambrone

The project is part of the larger Anacostia River Trail network, which is planned for 28 total miles, and located on National Park Service land. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) expects the bridge to be done by 2021 and to help people traveling from Kenilworth Park and surrounding neighborhoods like Mayfair, Kenilworth–Parkside, and River Terrace get to the Arboretum more easily. The public meetings are set for May 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Arboretum (3501 New York Avenue NE) and May 22 at the same time at the headquarters of D.C. Department of Employment Services (4058 Minnesota Avenue NE).

D.C. Would Feel the Brunt of Workforce Slashes
May 16, 2019
Afro American//Special to the AFRO 

Bowser spoke frankly about the D.C. Council’s proposal that would cut $17.4 million from a myriad of workforce initiatives effectively impacting over 1,400 job seekers in the District. Project Empowerment, Career Connections and other programs would feel the blow as early as fall according to the mayor’s office

United States: DC Employers – On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!: Universal Paid Leave Tax Starts Soon
May 16, 2019
Mintz /Donald C. Davis

District employers, get on your marks! We told you way back in 2017 that Universal Paid Leave (UPL) would be coming to the District, and here it is. Under the DC Universal Paid Leave Act (the Act) and its implementing regulations, beginning on July 1, you will be liable to pay a 0.62% tax on your employees' gross wages for the preceding quarter, the first quarterly payment of which must be made by July 31, 2019. That means you should contact your payroll administrator now, to make sure you're ready to comply. In this post, we outline the key details about the new payroll tax, including how to pay it, and refresh your memory on the other key provisions of the Act.

DOES Helps High School Students and Adults Find Apprenticeships
May 10, 2019
Afro American//Afro Staff

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services celebrated the transition of six high school students and several adult candidates into apprenticeship programs last week at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), 900 7th Street N.W., in honor of National College Signing Day.

The Line hotel missed local hiring benchmarks, may still receive a $46M tax break
May 8, 2019
The Washington Business Journal//Rebecca Cooper

Councilwomen Brianne Nadeau, D-Ward 1, and Elissa Silverman, I-At large, wrote Monday to Attorney General Karl Racine to determine whether the city’s Department of Employment Services had the authority to approve a payment in lieu of meeting some of the requirements for the tax abatement. 
 
The Line Hotel Didn't Comply With All of Its Hiring Requirements, Audit Finds
May 8, 2019 
The Washington City Paper//Morgan Baskin 

But if Unique Morris-Hughes, the director of D.C.'s Department of Employment Services (DOES), gets her way, the Sydell Group will still receive the $46 million tax break it was promised.

Solar for All? Removing Financial Obstacles to Green Energy
May 8, 2019
NBC Boston//Noreen O’Donnell

The District’s Solar Works DC was developed by the city’s Department of Energy and Environmental and the Department of Employment Services. In two years, it has trained more than 100 people, creating jobs in the mid-Atlantic region and helping to ensure the District meets its clean energy goals.

Participants in a Disastrous D.C. Workforce Development Program Still Lack Employment
May 2, 2019
The Washington City Paper//Mitch Ryals

Both Thurston and Hicks looked to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s workforce development programs in the Department of Employment Services (DOES). But instead of pathways to employment, they found mismanagement and dead ends. They told their stories publicly last week during an oversight hearing for DOES.
 
See how DC students are celebrating 'National College Signing Day' in different ways
May 1, 2019 
WJLA//Kellye Lynn

It’s #CollegeSigningDay but 18-year-old Daraelle Banks and Antonio Overton are taking a different path. The graduating high school seniors are becoming apprentices. I spoke with them today in Northwest at a special ceremony to announce and celebrate their new opportunities. 

APRIL

District Installs 100th Solar Panel
April 26, 2019
Afro American//George Kevin Jordan 

It was a sweltering 83 degrees in the District Tuesday and the sun had no blanket of clouds to block its rays upon the city. It was a hard day for a forehead, but the perfect day to set up a rooftop solar installation as Mayor Muriel Bowser and several officials from the Department of Employment Services and GRID Alternatives Mid Atlantic celebrated the 100th installation on a home in Northeast as part of the District’s Solar Works DC initiative.

Pivot Program creates opportunities for returning citizens
April 26, 2019 
The Georgetown Voice//Julia Penney

Four of this year’s fellows came from another of PJI’s programs, the Georgetown Prison Scholars Program at the D.C. Jail, which provides incarcerated citizens the opportunity to take courses and attend lectures within the humanities and social science fields. The remainder found the program through various avenues such as the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA), the Department of Employment Services (DOES), and the Free Minds Book Club, which uses reading and creative writing to empower incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults. Judge Jorge Vila, a magistrate judge on the D.C. Superior Court, also put the program in contact with several of this year’s fellows.

DC Universal Paid Leave Tax Kickoff - The First Quarter Has Already Started
April 25, 2019
Lexology//Mintz 

We recently provided DC employers with information about the imminent Universal Paid Leave tax. Since that post, we have received word from the DC Office of Employment Services (DOES) that the first quarterly tax will be based on the wages you will have paid your employees during the current quarter (April 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019.) That means your first quarterly tax payment and wage report must be submitted to DOES no later than July 31, 2019, which is the last day of the first month following the quarter. You will be able to submit the quarterly tax payment and wage reports beginning July 1, 2019, including through the DOES online employer portal. As we mentioned in our prior post, the cost of non-compliance could be steep, so take steps now to ensure you and your payroll administrators will comply.

jonetta rose barras: Is education reform being misdirected?
April 11, 2019 
The DC Line//Johnetta Rose Barras

Mayor Muriel Bowser has escalated this erosion considerably and is now creating a scenario where education could become subservient to non-education issues. Consider that recently she relocated the entire Department of Employment Services (DOES) — along with the Workforce Investment Council, a private-sector-led advisory board — under the umbrella of the DME. That shift came without any public discussion, either in the community or in the DC Council. Equally important, it occurred even as DOES and the public schools, both traditional and charters, have stumbled with implementing new programs or improving existing ones.
 

Arena Stage 12th D.C. Career Fair To Be Held April 17
April 10, 2019 
Broadway World//News Desk 

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, in partnership with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, At-Large Councilmember Robert White, Jr., and the D.C. Department of Employment Services, opens its doors for the 12th semi-annual D.C. Career Fair Wednesday, April 17, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Mead Center (1101 Sixth St., SW). Throughout the past five years, Arena Stage has partnered with more than 100 participating organizations and served a combined total of nearly 8,000 community members by hosting regular career fairs.

Chris Sewell: Maryland's clean energy jobs bill will grow solar careers
April 6, 2019

Capital Gazette

What would you do, if the job that you had was gone in an instant? Without savings or a safety net, and with no degree or technical job training, it can be hard to bounce back.  That’s what happened to my colleague, Steven Vernon. He lost everything after the recession. But he pulled himself back up with the help of his friends and community.

DC wants motorists to alert them to confusing street signs
April 3, 2019

Bowser is kicking off a new job training program designed to help residents for careers in transportation assign installers. The training program involves the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and includes a 12-month training program.
 

MARCH

Funding sources and expenditure patterns of out-of-school time programs in D.C.
March 29, 2019
D.C. Policy Center

A new D.C. Policy Center report outlines the funding sources and expenditure patterns of subsidized[1] afterschool and summer programs in the District of Columbia: where funds originate, how they are spent, what capacity constraints providers experience, and how public and private stakeholders can help address those challenges.

UDC & MPD Police Officer Training Cohort
March 19, 2010
Fairfax News

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Community College and the Department of Employment Services (DOES), to provide an opportunity for qualified men and women to obtain an associate degree and become a DC Police Officer. 

Universal? You Bet – How the D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act May Impact Your Business
March 14, 2019

The D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act has an incredibly broad reach. All employers that directly or indirectly employ or exercise control over the terms and conditions of employees working in D.C. and that are required to pay unemployment insurance on behalf of their employees are covered by the Act regardless of whether the employer has a physical location in D.C. 
 

FEBRUARY

DC Repeals Tipped Worker Wage Law but Imposes New Requirements on Employers of Tipped Workers
February 4, 2019
The National Law Review//

The repeal legislation, dubbed the “Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018,” (the “Act”) institutes three new major requirements that impact employers and D.C. government: (1) employers of tipped workers must comply with new sexual harassment training requirements; (2) employers of tipped workers must begin to use – if they do not already -- a third-party payroll system that submits payroll data to the District’s Department of Employment Services (“DOES”); and (3) DOES must provide more information to the public on the various labor and anti-discrimination laws in the District and create an internet and phone-based reporting system for public reporting of potential violations.

D.C. Helps Returning Citizens with READY Assistance
February 21, 2019

BlackPress USA//James Wright
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has long expressed concern about returning citizens in the District of Columbia, going back to her days as a Ward 4 council member. As mayor, she has made it a point to connect with these District residents and her latest initiative will make sure they will be able to get back into the mainstream of life in the city. On Feb. 12, the mayor launched the READY (Resources to Empower and Develop You) Center that will serve as a one-stop-shop where returning citizens can access critical post-release services, obtain vital documents and get referrals to treatment programs for substance abuse and mental health.

Marking a Milestone in Marion Barry’s Legacy
February 14, 2019
WUSA9

Latrice is beginning to forge her own career path with an appreciation for the groundwork paved by Marion Barry.

Ready Center Paving Way for those Returning to Civilian Life
February 12, 2019
Fox 5

There’s a brand-new resource for men and women who are getting out of prison and trying to re-acclimate themselves to society. 
Many are in need of housing – food to eat – and schooling or a job. And D.C.’s brand new READY Center is there to help smooth the transition.

Helping Inmates After Prison
February 12, 2019
WUSA9

“The Ready Center” in D.C. opened its doors to former inmates who are trying to figure their new normal.
 

JANUARY 2019

As Government Shutdown Continues, Workers’ Worries—and Bills—Grow
January 1, 2019
The Wall Street Journal//Andrew Duehren 

D.C. Department of Employment Services, which processes unemployment claims in Washington, has extended its operating hours because of the ..

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton Pushes for Back Pay for Furloughed Federal Contract Workers
January 8, 2019
Washington City Paper//Mitch Ryals 

Logan is among the more than 2,000 District residents who've applied for unemployment benefits as a result of the federal government shutdown. (D.C.'s Department of Employment Services is tracking the number of applicants.)

D.C. Council approves ‘LOVE’ Act to allow marriages to continue during the shutdown
January 8, 2019
The Washington Post//Fenit Nirappil

The District government also has been picking up trash from the Mall and ramping up staffing at the Department of Employment Services to process unemployment claims as a result of the shutdown.

Federal Employees Are Filing Unemployment Claims To Get Through The Shutdown
January 10, 2019
The Huffington Post//Dave Jamison 

The District of Columbia, which has a disproportionate share of federal workers compared with states, had seen 3,745 federal workers and an estimated 822 federal contractors apply for benefits due to the shutdown as of Tuesday night, the D.C. Department of Employment Services told HuffPost. The agency is dealing with the influx of cases by having staff work extended hours.  

New Year, New Committees
January 10, 2019
The Washington City Paper//Mitch Ryals 

As D.C. councilmembers close the first legislative meeting of 2019, they do so with a slightly different committee configuration.
At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman
Committee: Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
Notable agencies: Department of Human Resources, Department of Employment Services, Office of Employee Appeals, Office of Risk Management, Workforce Investment Council

Unemployment Claims From the Shutdown Are Skyrocketing
January 11, 2019
The Washingtonian//Benjamin Wofford

As the shutdown approaches its fourth week, regional economists have pointed to the skyrocketing number of Washington area residents who are applying for unemployment benefits. In the past week, budget specialists in the DC government reported growing numbers of federal workers claiming unemployment benefits: First 300, then 700, then 1,700. It’s now estimated at 5,431, including 4,429 federal workers and an estimated 1,002 federal contractors. The number already equals 15 percent of the typical benefits caseload in a single year, according to figures provided by the Department of Employment Services, where District employees have been working overtime to manage the deluge of incoming calls and applications.

Federal employees file for unemployment as government shutdown becomes longest in history
January 12, 2019
The Washington Examiner//Sean Higgins 

Tiffany Browne, spokesperson for D.C. Department of Employment Services, which is home to an estimated 102,000 workers from agencies that haven't been paid, said the total unemployment claims from them had reached more than 4,800. The department had reported the figure at just 379 on Dec. 28, the first full week of the shutdown.

DC kicks off the annual Summer Youth Employment program
January 17, 2019
WTOP//Jeff Clabaugh 

The District of Columbia has opened its annual Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment program for applications from both D.C. youth and employers who want to participate this year.

DC mayor bucks fed gov’t with bill to offer ‘essential’ workers unemployment
January 22, 2019
WTOP//Jack Moore 

Speaking at the D.C. news conference, Unique Morris-Hughes, the director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services, said her office doesn’t yet have estimates for how much the District expects to shell out on unemployment benefits for “essential” workers. She expects several thousand federal employees to sign up. As of Jan. 14, more than 7,000 federal employees and contractors in the D.C. area had already applied for unemployment since the shutdown began, according to Bowser’s office.