Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC recently announced plans to invest $6 million in workforce development and violence prevention. In 2018, AltaGas, WGL Holdings, and Washington Gas entered into a settlement agreement as a condition of approval of the AltaGas-WGL Holdings merger. Part of the Agreement included a two-year, $6 million funding commitment from AltaGas for community benefits.
$4 million will support the work of the D.C. Infrastructure Academy (DCIA) which launched early in 2018 with the goal of providing DC residents with a pipeline to in-demand careers in infrastructure jobs, including IT, energy, utilities, and auto repair. DCIA, in partnership with employers in the area, coordinates, trains, screens, and recruits residents to fulfill the positions. In addition to offering various training programs, it also offers support such as resume development, workforce readiness, hiring events, and job referral services.
The other $2 million will go toward supporting Attorney General Racine’s “Cure the Streets” program. It is based on the CURE Violence model which uses a public-health approach and treats violence as a disease by mediating disputes; providing support services and changing behavior in those prone to violence; and engaging with communities to change norms around violence.
“I’m pleased that as a result of the AltaGas merger negotiated by the Office of the Attorney General on behalf of the District, $2 million dollars will be directed to help fund our Cure the Streets violence interruption sites through July 2020,” said attorney general Racine. “This much-needed funding will enable us to continue this pilot which has shown promising early results at reducing shootings and homicides in these high-violence neighborhoods.”
“We know that breaking cycles of violence requires more than just law enforcement,” said Bowser. “These investments recognize that as a government and as a community, we must stay focused on how we connect more Washingtonians to good-paying jobs and careers, how we prevent violence before it happens, and how we expand opportunity so that every person in our city feels a strong sense of hope, purpose, and dignity.”