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D.C. Promises To Hire Workers For Weatherization Program

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By Patrick Madden

As D.C.'s unemployment rate continues to hover around 12 percent, city leaders are promising to hire out-of-work residents to weatherize homes. For years, Quentin Freeland found steady work as a construction worker. But when the jobs dried up about a year and half ago, Freeland says it hasn't been easy.

"We've been getting up early in the morning, running down to the woods, pulling scraps out of the woods, scrap metal, and we take it to the scrap yard and that's how we make our money during the day," says Freeland.

Freeland and a friend joined hundreds of others at the Covenant Baptist Church in Southwest D.C. Monday night to hear more about a plan to train and hire hundreds of residents to weatherize low-income homes.

Church pastor Christine Wiley told the crowd, which included Mayor Adrian Fenty and other city leaders, residents are tired of job training programs that do not lead to jobs.

"So we are putting everyone on notice, we are not going to put up with talk anymore, we want work!" Wiley shouts.

Mayor Fenty promised the crowd the city would spend about $10 to $20 million dollars training residents to weatherize homes but offered few details on when the program would launch.

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