WIN along with our member partner Laborers International Union Local 657, trained and employed 18 DC residents for and completed a Weatherization Pilot of 150 low/moderate income houses and set a precedent for local hiring that created more local job opportunities throughout the DC green energy program.
The Pilot was part of WIN’s efforts to make certain that the District’s $20+- million dedicated energy efficiency fund (DCSEU) financed projects employing DC residents. The pilot had larger policy significance in that it created a workforce pipeline standard that required contractors receiving government funds to hire 100% DC residents from a designated training provider. This is a legally viable way to require contractors to hire 100% DC residents. This model has the promise – if applied to other government funded/controlled work to outperform the current policy of “first source”. The weatherization demonstrated that training can be tied to a job. Workers reported, and contractors confirmed that the 2 weeks of training provided by Laborers International Union Local 657 prepared workers to weatherize homes. The workers transitioned successfully from training to work. The Laborers provided the training free of charge, so the majority of the government funds went to creating the work of weatherizing homes, and ultimately wages for workers’ pockets. This is in contrast to many “job-training programs” that spend the majority of the funds on providing dead-end training. The pilot also demonstrated what WIN knew already – but contradicted the dominant narrative around work in DC – that there are plenty of unemployed DC residents who want to and are capable of working hard.
Photo Credit: AFRO Photo