Department of Employment Services

DC Agency Top Menu

Cold Emergency -The District's Cold Emergency Plan is currently active.

Learn more about the Cold Emergency Plan.


-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Featured News


BOWSER: Leaping Toward the Middle Class
January 10, 2018
The Washington Informer// Op-Ed

Two years ago, Betty Henderson, a native of New Orleans but a longtime Washingtonian who moved to the capital in the ’70s, faced a situation thousands of Americans face each year — several months of unemployment had turned into years without work. Even with a college education, the longer she went without a job, the more difficult it was to get back into the workforce. Washington, D.C., has never before experienced better days, but like in many places across our country, our prosperity has not reached all residents equally. Years of systemic inequalities have held many Americans back from reaching the middle class. But our country remains full of men and women who are hopeful — men and women who want to work and are eager for opportunities to improve their communities. Through programs like LEAP, we are creating new pathways to the middle class and keeping the American dream alive.


Job Fair
December 14, 2017
The Afro//Staff

On Nov. 18, MidCity and the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) hosted their first career fair at the Israel Baptist Church in the Brentwood neighborhood of Northeast Washington, D.C. The event included 44 businesses and community benefit organizations with more than 185 job seekers from across the District.

DONALD: Strong Apprenticeship Programs Key to Closing Wage Gap
December 14, 2017
The Washington Informer//Odie Donald II

Traditional apprenticeship programs have been primarily relegated to labor fields, such as carpentry or pipefitting, but there are a growing number of companies offering them in high-skill/high-wage fields, such as IT and engineering.

Strong Apprenticeship Programs Key to Addressing the Wage Gap
December 15, 2017
Atlanta Daily World//Odie Donald II

Over the last decades, many American inner cities have seen an economic resurgence. Buoyed by millennials and people’s desire to shorten their daily work commute, neighborhoods and communities that were all but pronounced dead two decades ago now find themselves flush with new businesses and residents. This is no more evident than here in the District of Columbia, where the economic recovery of the city has been nothing short of breathtaking. However, as many have noted, this growth has not been equally beneficial to all residents.

A Model for Advancement
December 15, 2017
Richmond Free Press//Odie Donald II

Over the last decades, many American inner cities have seen an economic resurgence. Buoyed by millennials and people’s desire to shorten their daily work commute, neighborhoods and communities that were all but pronounced dead two decades ago now find themselves flush with new businesses and residents. This is no more evident than here in the District of Columbia, where the economic recovery of the city has been nothing short of breathtaking. However, as many have noted, this growth has not been equally beneficial to all residents.

Bright Beginnings gives a helping hand to a mother learning to be a parent 
December 6, 2017
Washington Post//John Kelly 

Said Marilyn: “It was a good point — don't waste all your time in all this schooling to get there and find you can't handle it.” With Dontavious in day care, Marilyn started an EMT course at a school near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro, the tuition funded by the District's Department of Employment Services.

Apprenticeship Opportunities Through The DC Office Of Employment Services 
December 5, 2017
WHUR 96.3 FM//Harold Fisher – The Daily Drum

Apprenticeship opportunities for trades and tech field through the DC Department of Employment Services



D.C. leaders hope revamped apprenticeships can bring more residents to the middle class
November 28, 2017
The Washington Post//Perry Stein

In September, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced she would allocate $400,000 in additional grants to the city’s apprenticeship program to diversify offerings and include more industries. While many private companies fund their own apprenticeship programs, the city grants will be used, in part, to help companies pay apprentices.

DC Community Carrot Announces New Leadership and Expansion Based on Successful Outcome ... 

November 6, 2017
Digital Journal//Press Release
DC Community Carrot ("Carrot") has completed a seven-month pilot project to demonstrate the non-profit organization's ability to help DC's Out of School Youth to create their own businesses. The effort was funded by generous grants from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES).


Why No Company Should Have A Diversity Goal 
October 19, 2017
Forbes//George Bradt

At the CEO Connection Mid-Market CEO Convention, literally the day after HATCH, we explored the economic side of diversity. A breakout panel on “Leveraging Diversity: A Key To Your Future Workplace” included the National Urban League’s Donald Cravins, the Girl Scout’s Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Washington DC’s Department of Employment Services’ Van Freeman and KRStrategy’s Kathryn Ritchie.

Thirteen of DC's Newest CEOs, all Living Under the Poverty Limit and Under 26 Years Old, to ... 
October 11, 2017
SYS-CON Media //Press Release

Thirteen young entrepreneurs, all living under the poverty limit and with additional life barriers, have received their business licenses and will receive their Certificate of Completion from DC Community Carrot, a 501c3 non-profit based in Petworth/Brightwood Park. The graduation takes place this Saturday, October 14th at 3pm, at the WeWork's Wonderbread Building office, 641 S Street NW.
Funding for the inaugural class from grants from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development as well as the DC Department of Employment Services.

City Official: DC's Paid Family Leave Program May Face Delays, Cost More Than Planned 
October 10, 2017
WAMU 88.5//Martin Austermuhle

The District’s paid family leave law isn’t expected to take effect until mid-2020. But a slate of proposed changes the D.C. Council is considering and the realities of building a city-run program from scratch means delays and higher costs may come to pass.
That was the message City Administrator Rashad Young conveyed to legislators during a day-long hearing on Tuesday on the paid-leave bill that was passed by the Council late last year and became law earlier this year. It grants workers up to eight weeks of paid leave, and is funded by a 0.62 percent payroll tax on all private employers.
Young said he expects the leave program will be managed by a new Office of Paid Leave within the existing Department of Employment Services. The office will need 115 new employees at an annual cost of between $9 to $11.5 million.

DC official questions city's ability to implement paid leave law  
October 10, 2017
Washington Business Journal//Tina Reed
The District's Department of Employment Services, which will administer the paid leave program, must spend at least $2 million to hire new employees this fiscal year to start implementing the law, he said. Those funds, he said, were not included in the District's fiscal 2018 budget, which began Oct. 1.


How D.C.’s Workforce System Ditched Its ‘High Risk’ Federal Designation
September 11, 2017
Route Fifty//Dave Nyczepir

Previously the District’s Department of Employment Services learned the 36-deliverable corrective action plan it drafted over three months was both approved and ahead of schedule—wins for an agency that has struggled on and off for the past 17 years.
“Our turnaround has been focused on people,” Odie Donald II, DOES director, told Route Fifty in a sit-down interview. “More so than this high-risk designation.”

DC sheds 'high-risk' Labor Department designation 

September 8, 2017
WTOP//Rich Johnson

Five years ago, D.C. was put on a Labor Department list of “high-risk” partners in job training and employment programs. 

Washington D.C. to Launch New Infrastructure Academy
September 8, 2017

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has launched the D.C. Infrastructure Academy, an innovative workforce training program that will provide hands-on experience and access for residents to secure jobs in the infrastructure industry.

Paducah leaders push for jobs during D.C. visit
September 7, 2017
WPSD Local6//Todd Faulkner

Jobs and good-paying wages for local families: That’s what members  of the Paducah Chamber of Commerce are pushing for in Washington, D.C. this week.

District gets a vote of approval from Labor Dept. for improved job training
September 7, 2017
The Washington Post//Robert McCartney

The federal government has given the District a vote of confidence for what it called the city’s success in enrolling more residents in job-training programs and improving handling of federal workforce grants. 

New Academy Aims to Give DC Residents More Training for Infrastructure Jobs
September 5, 2017
NBC4 Washington//Associated Press

“The D.C. Infrastructure Academy will give D.C. residents the chance to learn the nuts and bolts of what makes our city run,” Bowser said. “Everything from utilities to transportation and logistics to operations and green technologies — and ensure that they are first in line when it comes to securing the infrastructure jobs of today and tomorrow.” 
Starting in 2018, the Department of Employment Services will operate the academy out of an interim location east of the Anacostia River until a permanent location can be completed.  


Nonprofit installs solar panels on roofs of lower-income households — free 
August 6, 2017
Washington Post//Mary Hui 

The trainees are part of the summer cohort of the newly launched Solar Works DC, a low-income solar installation and job-training program jointly developed by the District’s Department of Energy and Environment and the Department of Employment Services. The program will train more than 200 D.C. residents over three years, and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic was awarded a grant to implement the first year of the program. The organization will train about 75 program participants in skills needed for careers in solar and related fields, and install solar panels for 60 to 100 income-qualified District homeowners.

Wharf career fair for DC residents only 
August 4, 2017
WTOP// Jeff Clabaugh

D.C. residents looking for a job will have the inside edge at a job fair for the new Southwest Waterfront development.
A career fair for thousands of jobs at The Wharf will be held at Arena Stage (1101 Sixth St. SW) on Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon.

GALA Hispanic Theatre's Paso Nuevo and Summer Youth Program Present TELL 'EM WHAT'S ... 
August 3, 2017
Capital Wire PR//Press Release

To launch Paso Nuevo’s 25th anniversary year, Paso Nuevo and participants of GALA’s Summer Youth Program are proud to present Tell “Em What’s REALLY Wrong, an evening of original works, on Friday, August 4, 2017 at 8 pm at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Performed in English with some Spanish, the presentation is directed by Martha Mckeown, and is in collaboration with the Theater Lab School of Dramatic Arts.


10th DC Career Fair to Take Over Arena Stage This August 
July 31, 2017  
Broadway World 

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, in partnership with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, the D.C. Department of Employment Services, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and The Wharf opens its doors for the 10th D.C. Career Fair Thursday, August 10, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Mead Center (1101 Sixth St., SW).

Retirement deferred: Workers, companies grapple with new reality
July 29, 2017
Washington Post//Staff

Job seekers 55 and older arrive at the District of Columbia's Department of Employment headquarters in Washington D.C. The percentage of Americans working past the traditional retirement age hit new highs in the most recent jobs numbers, data show, with 19 percent of those 65 and older working at least part-time.

Is DC’s Summer Jobs Program Working for Residents in their Early 20s?
July 28, 2017
WAMU 88.5 //Patrick Madden

Finding a job can be tough, but for young people in their early 20s, it can be particularly challenging. In fact, the District has the second highest rate of unemployment in the nation for people aged 20 to 24. To tackle this problem, the city recently took an expensive gamble: expanding its summer jobs program to adults in this age group.

Solar panels to be installed in DC homes for new initiative launched by Mayor Bowser 
July 25, 2017
WJLA //Sam Ford

Under the project, nearly 300 low-income residents will have the solar panels installed in their homes. The plan is a joint effort between the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the Department of Employment Services (DOES), according to a release from Mayor Bowser's Office.

DC Mayor Kicks Off Low-Income Solar Program, Accepts SolSmart Award
July 25, 2017
Solar Industry//Joseph Bebon

On Monday, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off the first cohort of Solar Works DC, a job training program that installs cost-saving solar energy systems on the homes of low-income residents. A joint effort between the district’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the Department of Employment Services, the program will provide on-the-job technical training to more than 200 D.C. residents between the ages of 18 to 24 and reduce energy costs for up to 300 D.C. residents by as much as $600 annually.

Barbershops and Barbering in the District; DCRA Regulations Govern the Profession
July 25, 2017
InTowner//Larry Ray

The DC Department of Employment Services’ Office of Labor Market Research and Information projects that by 2022 there will have been a 23% increase in the number of individual barbering licenses issued since 2012 as a consequence of the apparent growing demand of men for grooming services.

Out of Prison and Out of Work: Employment Barriers in DC
June 3, 2017
HillRag//Linnea Lassister

The District is making an increased effort to reduce the barriers faced by justice-involved and returning residents, but there is more that can be done.
The first way is to fund programs that serve people with high barriers to employment, including prior felony convictions, through providing adult education, job-training programs, and subsidized employment, such as Project Empowerment, operated by the DC Department of Employment Service (DOES).

When An Ex-Offender Couldn’t Find A Job, He Made One For Himself
May 30, 2017
Washington Post//Cortland Milloy

In December, after getting a business license and small-business loan, Lorenzo Stewart started a transportation service for the disabled and elderly. It’s called VOW Transportation. The initials stand for Vision of Winning

D.C. city leaders prepare for summer with focus on jobs, crime, recreation
Friday, May 26, 2017
Sam Ford//ABC7

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser discussed preparations for summer with topics centered on jobs, crime and recreation on Thursday.

GW appeals decision to compensate former employee as years long legal battle continues
May 4, 2017
GW Hatchet (subscription)//Justine Coleman

A decade ago Arion Jones, a former janitorial worker, filed application for review to the D.C. Department of Employment Services asking the University to pay disability benefits because of an injury he had sustained while at work. The review was the start of a protracted legal battle that has seen 11 decisions and orders changing if and how much Jones could earn in compensation, including two Compensation Review Board decisions and two orders from Administrative Law Judge Gregory Lambert within the past two years.


Utility Workforce Training Coming to D.C.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Sarafina Wright//Washington Informer

District residents will now have the opportunity to join a workforce training program that will prepare them for employment in the utilities industry. Attachment: Utility Workforce Training Coming to D.C.

Finding Summer Jobs for D.C. Youth
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Chris and Markette, learn how the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program is working to provide summer jobs for DC young adults.
To view video click here

Pathways to Work program aims to help unemployed people in D.C.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
D.C. Council member David Grosso met Wednesday with the inaugural class of the Pathways to Work job-readiness program to learn how private initiatives are helping tackle unemployment in the city.
Attachment: Pathways to Work program aims to help unemployed people in D.C.


Youth People in DC Developing Job Skills at Career Fair
March 31, 2017
Kristin Wright//NBC4 Washington

Young people got a chance to rub elbows with future employers at a D.C. career expo Friday. One teen told News4's Kristin Wright jobs help youth avoid feeling "lost in the world." 

Arena Stage, Councilmembers Allen & Silverman to Host April D.C. CAREER FAIR
March 27, 2017
Broadway World//News Desk

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, in partnership with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, opens its doors for the ninth D.C. Career Fair Wednesday, April 5, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Mead Center (1101 Sixth St., SW).

Progress has been the motivation for immigration to the United States
Sunday, March 12, 2017
John Rodriguez//Senior Political Analyst, Latin time/the planet

During the 2016 election, the issue of employment was the most important for the majority of the voters. But many think that the illusion of the American dream is in jeopardy under the new administration of Trump. With the new policies of a Republican government in Congress and the Executive Office what will be the impact on the daily life of the residents of the DMV? I wanted to know what opinion leaders in the field of employment, how they feel about the subject, and what opportunities and services available to the community.


Eviction Companies Pay the Homeless Illegally Low Wages
February 23, 2017
Washington City Paper//Elizabeth Flock

It is a bitter cold morning in November, and the sun is just creeping up over the horizon. But for over an hour already, two unmarked vans have been idling or parked outside S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat), a longtime nonprofit that feeds D.C.’s homeless. These are the eviction company vans, known as “trucks,” and they are waiting for cheap, off-the-books labor.

2017 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program
February 22, 2017
Melanie Hastings//Channel 8

Acting DOES Director Odie Donald II and Shadaye White, MBSYEP alum and WMATA employee, discuss what’s new and exciting for 2017 MBSYEP.

Facebook Live with a special update on the expansion of the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program
February 22, 2017
Facebook Live – Official Mayor Bowser FB page

Acting DOES Director Donald and Shadaye White, MBSYEP alum and WMATA hire discuss permanent expansion, program enhancements and the extension of the application deadline to Saturday, March 4.

Summer Jobs for DC Youth
February 21, 2017

Great Day Washington hosts Chris and Markette hear about a great summer jobs program for D.C.

Bowser Wants to Increase Age for D.C.'s Summer Jobs Program
February 1, 2017
AFRO//Shantella Y. Sherman

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) urged the D.C. Council to provide more job training and employment opportunities to District residents through the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. Established in 1979 to introduce low-income youth, ages 14-21, to the workforce, Bowser hopes to have the eligibility age permanently increased to include those up age 24.


DC mayor wants to make teen summer jobs expansion permanent
January 27, 2017
WTOP//Kristi King

D.C.'s summer youth employment program is taking applications through Feb. 24 to connect some 13,000 young people to meaningful, paid work experiences. The program was recently expanded to include young adults as old as 24, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to make that change permanent.

Mayor Bowser Calls on DC Council to Permanently Expand MBSYEP
January 27, 2017
DC Mayor’s Office

Mayor Muriel Bowser calls on the Council of the District of Columbia to give more young Washingtonians the opportunity to gain critical job skills by permanently expanding the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program.