The District of Columbia Government
One City, One Hire

What is One City • One Hire?

One City • One Hire is an employer-driven hiring initiative with the goal of putting District residents back to work. One City • One Hire is an innovative economic development strategy that serves as a catalyst to jump-start Mayor Gray’s pledge to put all unemployed District residents—in every Ward of the city—back to work. While this initiative is not limited to District employers, if every business in the District of Columbia and Washington metropolitan area with a job opening hired just ONE unemployed District resident, the boost to the District and regional economy would be felt almost IMMEDIATELY.

Why do we need One City • One Hire?

Record High Unemployment Rates
In July 2011, the unemployment rate for the District of Columbia stood at 10.8%, compared to the national unemployment rate of 9.1% and the Washington Metropolitan Division unemployment rate of 6.2%. However, some Wards in the District have reached unemployment levels that are more than twice the regional and national averages. The One City • One Hire hiring initiative is a major vehicle to address the urgent need to put people back to work during these difficult economic times.

Supply and Demand
There are currently approximately 51,000 advertised job openings in the Washington metropolitan area, with positions ranging from entry-level to executive-level in a variety of industry sectors. There are approximately 36,000 unemployed residents in the District of Columbia, ranging from those who have limited skills and multiple barriers to employment to those with advanced degrees and impressive work histories. All of these individuals, as distinct as their backgrounds may be, have become casualties of the economic downturn.

Although there exists a skills gap in some segments of the District of Columbia that requires attention and focus, we encourage employers to take a closer look at unemployed District residents city-wide. In doing so, we are confident that they will find a plethora of untapped, underutilized talent capable of meeting many of their employment needs. The Department of Employment Services has several programs and services to offer employers and job seekers to help bridge the skills gap, including tax incentives, wage subsidies, pre-employment training in emerging/high demand occupations, and work-readiness preparation.

How does One City • One Hire benefit employers?

A Value Added Investment
The expense to businesses to hire new employees can be a costly investment in both time and money. DOES can help employers defray some of these costs by facilitating training, recruitment, and screening processes for potential hires to prepare and identify qualified candidates. DOES is also partnering with local corporations to offer job coaching and mentoring services at no charge to hiring employers. By taking advantage of these programs, services, and incentives, employers can reap the rewards of an adequately trained workforce that meets their needs.

A new strategy for improved customer service delivery in preparing job seekers and assisting employers with their employment needs is underway city-wide at every American Job Center(s). Additional DOES programs, services, and tax-based employer incentives include the following:

On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program • Apprenticeship Program • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Project Empowerment (PE) • Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) • Virtual American Job Center(s) System

Commitment to Good Corporate Citizenship
District businesses realize that a commitment to corporate citizenship is vital to any standard business model. As such, they continue to demonstrate good corporate citizenship, a genuine, direct commitment to the people of the District of Columbia, and strong investment in the local economy by hiring qualified, District residents who are currently unemployed.

Stimulates the District Economy and Spurs Economic Growth
Providing unemployed District residents with sustainable employment will have an almost IMMEDIATE effect on the District and regional economy. Putting people back to work enables them to become active consumers in the local economy and contributors to the local tax base, which is one of the best ways to stimulate economic growth. In addition, reducing all levels of unemployment and underemployment in the District of Columbia will help reduce poverty levels across the city, which can ultimately spur economic development and lead to an increase in new business investment in Washington, DC – a benefit to everyone.