WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

New D.C. Jobs Program Faces Challenges

Play associated audio
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.
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.


'Tis The Season For Coming Attractions: What To Watch For At The Multiplex

NPR film critic Bob Mondello offers a selective preview of the likely blockbusters and Oscar contenders that Hollywood has in store for the end of the year.

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash, many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.