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Bowser Administration Celebrates National Signing Day by Honoring Students Committing to Apprenticeships

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

(Washington, DC) – In recognition of National College Signing Day, the Mayor Bowser Administration led by the Department of Employment Services (DOES) celebrated graduating high school students in the District who have made commitments to become apprentices. Modeled after Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, DOES’ Signing Day will honor six District students who will sign apprenticeship offer letters with local trade associations. These students will enroll in the agency’s Career Bridge Pre-Apprenticeship program and, upon completion of the pre-apprenticeship program, will transition into registered apprenticeships.

“We know that pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships provide young people with invaluable opportunities to explore career pathways and connect classroom-based learning with real-world work experience,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “In partnership with DC Public Schools, we have identified and will support students who want to enhance their skills and supplement classroom knowledge through apprenticeships. We salute and congratulate these young people who have decided to reach higher and pursue their career goals.”

In addition, six District resident adults will sign apprenticeship agreements with the Bricklayers Union. Apprenticeships provide a unique level of access and opportunity, giving District residents as young as 16-year-old a fair shot at careers in high-demand industries. Launched in 2017 by the Bowser Administration, Apprenticeship DC is a work-based learning initiative administered by DOES that promotes both pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship (RA) work-based learning models. Apprenticeship DC serves as the District’s Statewide Apprenticeship Partner, assisting interested businesses in developing and implementing customized apprenticeship offerings that meet industry specific hiring and training needs. Apprenticeship DC has awarded approximately $400,000 in grants to local businesses and community-based organizations that target three of the District’s high demand industries: Information Technology, Construction, and Infrastructure.

The Department of Employment Services (DOES) is the District’s lead labor, workforce development agency, and is responsible for providing District residents with critical employment readiness and job training services. The agency oversees Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programming, Unemployment Insurance, the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, Project Empowerment, L.E.A.P., DC Career Connections, and additional supportive programs for veterans and mature workers. To learn more about the programs and services offered at DOES, visit or


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