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New D.C. Jobs Program Faces Challenges

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is pitching the One City, One Hire program to promote job growth in the District -- opinions are divided on whether it will help.
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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is pitching the One City, One Hire program to promote job growth in the District -- opinions are divided on whether it will help.

As the unemployment rate in D.C. continues to rise, Mayor Vincent Gray is pitching his new job placement program to area business leaders. It’s called the One City, One Hire program. Modeled after an Atlanta program that helped thousands find work, it offers tax credits, wage subsidies and other incentives to companies that hire at least one unemployed resident.

With the D.C. Chamber of Commerce already on board for the plan, Gray went to work Tuesday on the city’s other major business organization -- the Washington Board of Trade, which represents businesses from all over the region.

After speaking to members at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown D.C., Gray says he got some key support.

“We got a commitment from Jim Dinegar, who of course is the CEO of the Board of Trade, and it starts with him," says Gray. "We actually have 120 firms already committed, but having him on board is absolutely critical.”

While Board CEO Jim Dinegar supports the effort, he cautions that in this economic climate companies aren’t going to hire workers as part of what he calls, “a charitable effort.”

“People aren’t going to hire people for a tax credit or $1,500," Dinegar says. "They won’t turn it down, but that’s not the tipping point."

The tipping point, Dinegar says, will be when consumer demand picks up and companies feel they have to hire someone.

Gray’s goal is to find work for at least 10,000 residents through the program.

WAMU 88.5

A WAMU Guide To The 2015 National Book Festival

Need some help navigating the schedule? We've come up with an agenda that highlights authors we’ve spoken with here at WAMU.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 2, 2015

You can plan for dinner and a show (for a cause) or check out a reggae concert.

WAMU 88.5

Europe's Ongoing Migrant And Refugee Crisis And The Future Of Open Borders

The Austria-Hungary border has become the latest pressure point in Europe's ongoing migrant crisis. An update on the huge influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa and the future of open borders within the E.U.

WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: How To Build Smarter Transportation And More Livable Cities

A new report says traffic in the U-S is worse than it's been in years. But some say there are reasons to be optimistic. For this month's Environmental Outlook: how revitalized urban centers and new modes of transportation are changing how we get around our cities.

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