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What do DC young people need to secure meaningful work that can support a family?

OUR VISION: Young people growing up in DC secure meaningful work that can support a family, build personal wealth, and drive economic growth in the region.

OUR MISSION: Dramatically improve the early career outcomes of DC youth by redesigning our education and employment systems to ensure that young people acquire the “social mobility trifecta”: academic and professional credentials; paid, relevant work experience; and a supportive network of professionals.

WHAT WE DO: To accomplish this bold vision, CityWorks DC has two complementary strands of work:

  • We launch a targeted set of innovative programs that work directly with young people.
  • We lead systems-level initiatives that create the conditions for CityWorks programs and others to thrive and spark citywide reform across K-12, postsecondary, and employment.

INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS (youth-serving):

1. CareerWise DC

A citywide, three-year youth apprenticeship program for DC high schoolers in high-wage, in-demand occupations including Information Technology, Business Operations, and Financial Services. In Fall 2020, CityWorks launched the CareerWise DC pilot in conjunction with the Federal City Council, which included 15 youth apprentices from KIPP DC and Friendship PCS hired by 7 employers. In Fall 2021, we will grow the program to add an additional 30 youth apprentices.

  • If you’re an employer interested in learning more about how you can hire apprentices next year OR an educator interesting in learning more about how your students can participate, please email Lateefah Durant (
2. Career Bridge Alumni Support Program

Career Bridge Alumni Support Program: A 10-month career development support program with fifteen recent high school graduates of DC Public Schools. CityWorks is providing these alumni with bimonthly professional skill workshops, 1:1 career counseling sessions, and ongoing job placement services. Going forward, CityWorks will engage recent high school graduates from other LEAs in DC in addition to DCPS.

3. Innovative Postsecondary Project

A new, low-cost, flexible, accessible college option for DC’s young people, especially those with work or other family commitments, will be launched in conjunction with an Institution of Higher Education (IHE) in Fall 2021. CityWorks will complement the predominantly online, anytime learning program with academic supports, individual coaching, and other wrap-around services to ensure successful degree completion. For more information, please contact Rich Pohlman (


1. Employers for Equity:

Employers for Equity: A new employer-led initiative housed at the Federal City Council focused on driving the development of a local, equitable talent pipeline. The initiative will use convenings, policy papers, and best-practice sharing to accomplish three goals: 1) Unite employer voice, 2) Expand work-based learning, and 3) Recognize exemplary employers.

2. CEMETS Global Reform Lab (Center on Economics and Management of Education and Training Systems)

A virtual 6-month global reform lab housed at a Swiss research university in which teams from all over the world learn about the design of high-performing education and training systems and then translate those learnings to develop a reform plan for their local context. CityWorks is leading a team of 20 DC government, workforce, and employer leaders through the CEMETS Global Reform Lab to identify and implement high-priority strategies to help improve and reform DC’s education and workforce system.

3. Early Career Outcomes Project

A joint project of CityBridge Education, CityWorks DC, and Bain & Company to learn more about the early career outcomes of DC youth who attended DC public and public charter high schools. The project includes a survey that will provide a snapshot of DC public school alumni’s current wages, occupations, and other relevant factors.