In 2016, less than half of the available infrastructure job positions in Washington D.C. were filled (2,500 job openings with only 1,246 hires), even with an average hourly rate of $48.
To better fill the District's need for trained workers with infrastructure skills, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the D.C. Infrastructure Academy last week to provide hands-on training and experience to area residents.
"The DC Infrastructure Academy will give DC residents the chance to learn the nuts and bolts of what makes our city run," said Bowser . "Everything from utilities to transportation and logistics to operations and green technologies, and ensure that they are first in line when it comes to securing the infrastructure jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The DC Infrastructure Academy will bring multiple infrastructure related workforce development activities together under one roof
Modeled after similar successful programs in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Georgia, the DC Infrastructure Academy will provide residents with the necessary skills to obtain and maintain careers in one of the fastest growing industries in the nation.
The infrastructure industry, which is currently experiencing a gap between open positions and available workers to fill them, is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation. Nationally, energy efficiency firms project 14 percent sector growth and the addition of 257,000 jobs over the next year.
“The promise of the infrastructure industry is real,” said Deputy Mayor Courtney R. Snowden. “Approximately 2.7 million infrastructure workers are expected to retire or leave their jobs over the next decade. In DC, we stand ready to train our residents and create a pipeline to good paying, quality careers through this innovative partnership.”
The Infrastructure Academy is being funded by a $16.75 million commitment in the city’s capital budget and a $5.2 million contribution to workforce development programs that Pepco provided in the Exelon-Pepco merger preceding.
In addition, Pepco and Washington Gas have agreed to provide $500,000 each in cash contributions, donated human resources, equipment, and other in-kind materials and services over the first five years of the Academy's operation.
The Department of Employment Services will operate the DC Infrastructure Academy and work with public and private sector partners to align trainings and programs.