District cutting back on training in many disciplines

Only a handful of the drivers trained through D.C.'s commercial driver's license job training program last year actually got hired by WMATA.

As D.C. tries to tackle unemployment, the D.C. Department of Employment Services is making major changes to the city’s job training program. There have been serious questions about the outside groups tapped to help unemployed residents find work, and as it turns out, the city has also struggled to make sure it is training people for the right jobs.

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More than a quarter of subsidy programs by U.S. states targeting job creation don’t require verification that recipients meet their goals, according to a group that is critical of the development incentives.

While 90 percent of the initiatives examined get reports on outcomes from recipients, almost a third of those don’t check the results independently, Good Jobs First, a nonprofit organization in Washington, said in a report released today.

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A recent study shows that black students in the Washington, D.C. area are two to five times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled from school. The Washington Post has analyzed districts in both suburban areas and cities, and found that a major discrepancy exists when it comes to the ethnicity of students being harshly punished in public schools.

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill that would ensure that city residents receive priority for new jobs created by municipal financing and development programs.

The District of Columbia Workforce Intermediary Establishment and Reform of First Source and Living Wage Act of 2011, signed on Dec. 21, mandates that all projects funded in whole or in part with District of Columbia funds, or other funds which the District administers, shall provide for increased employment opportunities for District residents.

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Jobs where people work the most for the least

Truck drivers still work nearly 200 hours annually more than the average American.

The average person in the U.S. works just over 2,000 hours per year, or 39.5 per week, and is paid $37,128 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some occupations, however, require long days and night shifts, amounting to hundreds of extra hours, yet they pay the same or even less than most occupations. 24/7 Wall St. has identified the jobs with the longest hours and the worst pay.Of the nearly 800 job categories listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 48 occupations require at least 2,100 hours annually — roughly 100 more than the national average. Most of these positions also are paid very well, averaging more than $80,000 per year.

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D.C. Council Focuses On Ex-Offenders

One day after the Council for Court Excellence (CCE) held a press conference to share the findings of a major Ex-Offender study with the public, D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) chaired a hearing focused on ex-offenders, their needs, the programs available and the countless difficulties they face once released from jail.

The Council hearing, held on Friday, Nov. 18, was the first in 10 years. For several hours, lawmakers heard testimony from 139 individuals and representatives from non-profits, governmental organizations, the private sector and city officials.

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District wins appeal of special education ruling

The District has won a significant legal victory in its bid to lift a federal court injunction imposed 16 years ago because it wasn’t paying tuition and other services for special education students in a timely manner.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a ruling last year by U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman rejecting the city’s motion to drop the injunction, which is part of the Petties class action lawsuit.

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Percentage of learning disabled students aged 16-21 exiting special education in 2009-2010 who graduated with a diploma, according to Dropout Nation‘s analysis of U.S. Department of Education data — or a mere 256,000 American children. That’s lower than the nation’s overall four-year graduation rate of 70 percent.

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