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Mayor Bowser Launches Series of Safer, Stronger DC Initiatives to Support Families and Residents throughout the Summer

Monday, June 25, 2018
Mayor Kicks Off 2018 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Bowser today celebrated the first day of the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) at Check It Enterprises in Ward 8. Check It is one of 800 public and private sector worksites where 10,000 District youth ages 14 to 24 will participate in MBSYEP this summer. At the kickoff, the Mayor announced several summer initiatives that will create new pathways to employment and support violence prevention efforts across the District, particularly in neighborhoods that have recently experienced spikes in violence.

“For nearly four decades, summer in Washington, DC has meant something important to our young people—the opportunity to participate in the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. MBSYEP is about so much more than just a job—it is an opportunity for our community to help level the playing field; to keep our young people safe and engaged throughout the summer; and to build a network of professionals who are invested in helping their young neighbors succeed,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today, as we kick off another fantastic MBSYEP summer, we are proud to do so in concert with a series of other initiatives that will get more residents connected to employment, keep more children engaged in safe activities, and proactively address violence so that we can stop it before it happens.”

This summer, a cohort of MBSYEP youth ages 18 to 24 will have a chance to explore the DC Infrastructure Academy (DCIA) and the Solar Works DC program. Administered by DCIA, the Department of Energy and Environment, and GRID Alternatives, Solar Works DC introduces youth to careers in the solar industry. After completing the Solar Works DC program, MBSYEP youth will have valuable training and certifications that set them up for careers in the solar industry.

“MBSYEP is more than just a first job. It is an opportunity for District youth to explore career paths, build confidence, save money, and encourage a belief that they can be successful members of our community,” said DOES Interim Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “We’re elated to have so many amazing DC-area employers partner with us to provide positive experiences and educate our youth.”

Safer Stronger DC Investments

Today, Mayor Bowser also officially launched the District’s new violence interruption program. In May, the Mayor announced that three community-based providers will partner with the Safer Stronger DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement to act as violence interrupters, engaging directly with the most at-risk residents to foster healthy relationships and create opportunities for individuals and families to succeed. Starting today (June 25, 2018), the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative will provide violence interruption services in targeted Ward 8 communities.

The Mayor also announced a series of other initiatives and programs to support neighborhoods that have recently experienced spikes in violence, including:

the 1000 Opportunities initiative—a bold effort to connect 1,000 residents in communities disproportionately impacted by unemployment and violence with subsidized and unsubsidized work experience and training over the next 90 days;

  • two new summer enrichment programs at Simon and Savoy Elementary Schools;
  • a $1 million capital investment at Ferebee Hope Recreation Center as well as additional staff, equipment, and programming at recreation centers throughout Ward 8; and
  • an expansion of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services’ restorative healing circles.

MBSYEP Background

Host employers include area universities and schools, federal and local government agencies, major corporations, local businesses, hospitals, urban farms, and other community groups. MBSYEP participants receive transportation assistance to get to their worksites, financial literacy lessons, and have access to success coaches and mentors to support them throughout the program. Additionally, MBSYEP offers professional development for young adults, Fire and EMS pre-cadet training, and a summer leadership program offered by the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute.

Last year, MBSYEP launched the CareerEdge mobile platform, which allows participants to complete orientation and professional development sessions on their mobile devices. Throughout the summer, participants will work through interactive curriculum modules that focus on issues such as time management and workplace etiquette, earning digital badges that highlight their progress and attainment of new skills.

Since 2015, the Bowser Administration has improved the District workforce development program and found new ways to introduce youth across the city to high-paying, high-demand careers, including jobs and careers in information technology and infrastructure. The recent opening of the DC Infrastructure Academy in Ward 8—which trains, screens, and recruits residents for careers in the infrastructure industry—highlights the Administration’s focus on preparing DC residents for DC jobs.

Established in 1979 by Mayor Marion S. Barry, today MBSYEP is one of the largest summer jobs programs in the country and stands as a national model. Recently, Washington, DC has been recognized as one of the top cities for summer jobs by Forbes.com and WalletHub.com. In 2017, with the expansion of MBSYEP to include young Washingtonians ages 22 to 24, nearly 12,000 youth participated in MBSYEP, working more than 1.3 million total hours. Last year, more than 50 percent of participants were residents of Wards 7 and 8. This summer, MBSYEP runs through August 3. For more information about the program, contact [email protected].