DC has numerous agency resources and programs where you can explore careers and gain work experience. Resources and programs are available for a range of ages, grades and levels of education. There are also programs for special populations of youth such as foster youth or youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system. Programs are available through government agencies, private companies and community based non-profit organizations. This page focuses on government agency opportunities. Please visit our Local Organizations page for employment opportunities with private companies and non-profit organizations.
Things You Should Know:
Be ready for opportunities: Make sure you have an updated resume and cover letter to send to programs and prospective employers before you start your job hunt. Do an edit of our Facebook page, email address, and other job-hunt tools to ensure that you are sending the intended message.
Be assertive: DOES has a couple programs for teens and young adults, which hare listed below. Although their programs are improving – in terms of accessibility and responsiveness – they still have some way to go. However, there are many good opportunities if you are persistent and assertive.
Keep records: Keep track of phone calls made and emails sent.
Programs to Explore
DCPS Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program: The DCPS CTE program will provide you with the academic and vocational training opportunities that match your skills and personal interests. CTE will connect allow you to explore with real world careers and employment opportunities. Here is the list of the schools that have CTE programs. If you have questions, you should contact Ms. Eric Bibo, DCPS Deputy Chief of College and Career Education at email@example.com. You should also contact your school counselor to discuss participation in the DCPS CTE program.
High School Internships & Community Services: All DC public and charter school students are required to complete at least 100 hours of community service (http://dcps.dc.gov/page/community-service) in order to graduate. Many schools require additional internship hours. You should use these internship and community service requirements to explore careers and gain work experience. This is a great way you to build your resume.
Summer Employment: If you are a DC resident between the ages of 14 and 24 then you can participate in the Department of Employment Services (DOES) Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP). Through this program you will work for six weeks in the summer (end of June through beginning of August) and you will be paid between $5.25 and $9.25 depending on your age. Online registration usually starts in January or February and you must certify DC residency and attend a mandatory orientation in order to participate. Through the MBSYEP you can work a range of jobs—from DC and federal government
Apprenticeships: If you are at least 16 years old then an apprenticeship is an excellent way for you to gain on-the-job paid training and receive classroom instruction in highly skilled occupations such as plumbing, electrical and construction. If you are interested, you should contact the DOES-Office of Apprenticeship at (202) 698-5099.
Court Involved Youth & Young Adults: If you are under the supervision of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) then you are eligible to receive employment support through the DYRS Workforce Development Program that is housed within the DYRS Achievement Center. You can earn a professional certification in areas such as Information Technology, barbering, cosmetology, copper cabling, hospitality, construction and culinary arts. They also provide work readiness workshops, professional clothing for interviews and individual coaching. The Achievement Center has two locations (NW Location: 450 H Street NW Washington, DC 20001 & SE MLK Ave Location: 2101 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washington, DC 20020).
For more information, you can contact:
Nataly Del Valle, DYRS Youth Peer Advocate, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kieanna Evans, DYRS Youth Peer Advocate, Keianna.email@example.com
DC Foster Youth: The Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) Career Pathways Unit provides vocational and employment services to DC foster youth ages 18-20 who have graduated from high school or have received their GED. They will help you whether you are planning to attend college or if you are not currently pursuing a college education. For more information, you can contact Sabrina Dawson, Career Pathways Unit Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 727-7935.
Department of Disability Services (DDS)-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR): If you have a physical or mental impairment that is a barrier to employment then you might be able to benefit from DDS-VR Youth Transitions Program. The Youth Transitions program will help you create a goal plan for employment and education and they will assist with job searching, placement and coaching. They will also help you to request accommodations (if needed) and support you while you are working. If you are still in high school, then please refer to this contact list to find the Transitional Specialist that is assigned to your school. If you are out of school then please refer to this website for information and contact Brett Hymas, DDS Transition Unit 1 Supervisor, 202-442-8470.