COVID-19 has greatly disrupted the regional economy in Washington D.C., leaving thousands of residents unemployed and forcing many businesses to close or dramatically shift their operations. About 150,000 people have lost jobs in the hard-hit hospitality and leisure industries, creating a critical need for residents to be retrained for jobs in alternative industries, such as information technology and healthcare. The district’s Workforce Investment Council (WIC) is tackling immediate workforce challenges and planning for a post-COVID world, including focusing on job matching and mobility, skills and training, economic development and job creation, and support for workers transitioning to new industries. To address these needs the district is looking to make strategic connections with businesses, K-12 schools, and the higher education system to identify ways to coordinate efforts.

To support this work, WIC will partner with a FUSE Executive Fellow for one year to develop a strategic plan for how it can create an ecosystem of coordinated workforce services that ensure residents are prepared for in-demand jobs and employers have the talent they need. The recommendations proposed will yield more opportunities for cross-sector coordination, develop WIC’s internal infrastructure, and create career pathways in growing fields.