D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray outlined a series of efforts to cut into the District’s 11 percent unemployment rate — an even worse problem in parts of the city east of the Anacostia River — as the nation prepares to hear President Obama’s plan for job creation on Thursday.
Mr. Gray is scheduled to announce his “One City-One Hire” program on Thursday morning at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.
The program, modeled after an initiative in Atlanta, will offer incentives to businesses that commit to hiring at least one unemployed D.C. resident this year.
Lisa Mallory, director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services, said the program primarily publicizes existing incentives, such as tax credits for companies that hire from within the District and a Department of Justice grant that will subsidize up to 90 percent of a new hire’s wages.
Mr. Gray plans to follow-up the program announcement by joining U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy at the 11th Street Bridge project to highlight transportation spending’s ability to create jobs.
Mr. Gray also said the D.C. Department of Human Services is revamping its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to emphasize resume-building and job skills when families face the end of their five-year benefits and cannot find work. The new system will also trouble-shoot individual problems and form plans for employment.
“It will be a much more fluid type of system, rather than just a referral here or there until they finally succeed,” DHS Director David A. Berns said.