Despite tough laws on the books requiring contractors doing business with the city to hire D.C. residents, audits show that it's rare for contractors to meet these mandates, and even rarer to be punished for violating them.
That's why the city is trying a new approach.
Mayor Vincent Gray says the city will now be offering contractors incentives, rather than just promising penalties. A new program offers financial incentives to local contractors who hire D.C. residents.
The city tried the tactic with modernization projects at five D.C. schools. "To date, 110 D.C. residents have been successfully been placed and they are working exactly 51 percent of the hours of these projects; the goal was 35 percent," says Gray.
Gray says the program will be expanded to other projects.