Dear D.C. Resident,
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton invites you to attend the dedication of the “Opportunities Trailer,” Friday, Dec. 18, 10, a.m., 2700 Martin Luther King Jr., Ave., SE, (Gate 2).
WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), as part of her ongoing efforts to create business and job opportunities for District residents, on Friday, Dec. 18, 10 a.m., will dedicate an Opportunities Trailer at 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, the site of the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters planned for the St. Elizabeths West Campus, which is expected to generate 38,000 jobs on the site over the next decade. The Opportunities Trailer features job search assistance, on-site small business training sessions, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship and training information, a computer lab, conference room, and information kiosks. The Trailer will be open to the community from weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with arrangements possible for other hours. The Congresswoman, who chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, which has jurisdiction over the General Services Administration (GSA), which is supervising the construction, has insisted that the DHS headquarters, the largest construction project in the United States today, include "genuine," live opportunities for D.C. residents to compete for jobs, apprenticeships, and small business contracts. Consequently, GSA will hold monthly workshops to help small businesses, including minority-owned and women-owned businesses complete and submit competitive 8-A certification applications to qualify for federal contracts. The Trailer also will accommodate training by contractors hiring work crews at the DHS site, and an apprenticeship specialist will help residents identify and apply for job opportunities.
"The three-building DHS compound under construction is a rare treasure trove of job and small business opportunities," Norton said. "Especially during today's unusually deep recession, it would make little sense to bring so much economic activity to the city unless residents could compete for a fair share. Federal jobs and business opportunities are highly competitive, particularly in today's market. The Opportunities Trailer is our attempt to ensure that D.C. residents have a fair chance to compete for jobs and contracts."
Norton included $3 million for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill) for women, minorities and others who have not been part of the construction sector. On Monday, she spoke at the graduation ceremony of the first class of pre-apprentices to complete the apprenticeship program that resulted from her pre-apprenticeship Stimulus provision.
Residents who obtain pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships will train for local jobs with full benefits in many trades, including bricklaying, carpentry, stone and marble masonry, roofing, plumbing, elevator construction, insulation workers, electrical engineering, and steam fitting. Qualifications for some apprenticeships are as basic as being at least 18-years-old, drug free, having a high school diploma or GED, and having access to reliable transportation. Some of the apprenticeships pay up to $42,000 with five years of training.