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Mayor Bowser Announces UDC Workforce Edge Partnership, Celebrates District of Columbia University Partnership Scholarship Recipients

Friday, February 3, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, in recognition of Education Week in Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and University of the District of Columbia (UDC) President Ronald Mason launched the UDC Workforce Edge (UDC-WE) partnership, a program that will support adult learners who want to get a high school diploma or a GED. At the announcement, Mayor Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and President Mason also celebrated the academic achievements of the first class of participants in District of Columbia University Partnership (DC-UP) scholarship program.
“I came into office with the goal of getting more Washingtonians on pathways to the middle class, and through the critical investments we are making at the University of the District of Columbia, we are doing just that,” said Mayor Bowser. “I am proud of all the students participating in the District of Columbia University Partnership scholarship program, and I look forward to opening even more doors for DC residents through the UDC Workforce Edge partnership.”
UDC-WE is a dual-track Community College program that enables adult learners enrolled in DC public charter high schools to learn valuable workforce training skills, while earning  a high school diploma or GED. The first class of 10-20 students will begin the program as part of a pilot this spring, and an additional 10-20 students will join the program this summer. Participating schools include: Goodwill Excel Academy, Academy of Hope, and Next Step Public Charter School. As part of the spring pilot, participating schools will identify students to participate in the Guest Services-Hospitality class with the option of a follow-on class (Front Desk, Restaurant Server, Hotel Maintenance). Each school will identify 3-5 students and provide case management for the students. Based on the pilot program’s successes and challenges, the second phase of the pilot will expand the range of classes in which students can enroll. The full UDC-WE program will begin in fall 2017.
“This is about strengthening the sense of purpose and direction for adults who’ve already committed themselves to advancing their education,” said President Mason. “Through UDC-WE, there’s another point of entry along the District’s seamless public education pipeline that leads to advanced learning, a well-prepared workforce, and ultimately, a stronger middle-class.” 
During Education Week last year, Mayor Bowser and President Mason announced DC-UP, which offers scholarships to valedictorians and salutatorians from DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools. The $1.24 million incentive program provides a full four-year scholarship and an annual $6,000 housing allowance. The program also offers merit-based scholarships for other students, both in and out of DC, with grade point averages of 3.0 and above. In fall 2016, UDC signed up 12 valedictorians and salutatorians as new students, with three dozen other students accepting other merit-based scholarships. These students are now enrolled in their second semester at UDC. 
Follow DC Education Week on social media by using #EDweekDC.