Green Jobs, Careers, and Workforce Development
Sustainable DC 2.0 includes many goals and targets related to creating more green jobs in DC. In particular, Economy Target 1 is to double small District-based businesses and Economy Target 2 is to cut citywide unemployment by 50% in severely unemployed populations, both by 2032. Other targets include increasing food jobs by 2,000+ and educating a workforce that is prepared for green jobs among both children and adults.
Department of Energy and Environment Programs
Solar Works DC is a program specifically designed to provide workforce development skills to enter the growing solar industry, including both technical installation experience and the soft skills of leadership.
The Summer Green Zone Environmental Program offers high school students work experience in environmental fields, ranging from ecological management to rainwater retention.
DOEE Green Fellows have an opportunity to work for a year during their graduate studies in different departments within the agency.
Learn more about all of DOEE’s Green Pathways here.
Other Agency Programs
- DC Water and Water Environment Federation launched the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program to train, qualify and certify eligible participants for the green infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance workforce. UDC provides the training at no cost to District residents who qualify.
- DC Sustainable Energy Utility connects District residents with 6-month, paid green externships in energy efficiency and sustainability. More than 85% of externs go on to full-time positions after completing the program.
- UDC offers professional certifications of the DC Master Gardener and DC Master Naturalist.
- Periodically, other organizations will offer discounted certifications to become a Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional or certifications in LEED, focused on green buildings, and ENVISION, focused on sustainable infrastructure.
Food Job Training Programs
The following programs are offered by nonprofits or for-profit businesses. Sustainable DC does not endorse participation in these programs, but does offer these as potential entry points for the industry.
- Food Handlers and Food Managers Licenses
- ServSafe Online
- Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington
- UDC CAUSES (free for low-income residents)
- Dreaming Out Loud’s Ready for Entrepreneurship Accelerator Modules (DREAM for food entrepreneurs)
- DC Central Kitchen Culinary Job Training
- 30+ years, 1,700 graduates
- Full scholarship for program and 2 years of post-graduation support
- Carlos Rosario Culinary Arts Academy
- For English language learners
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Resources
The following organizations and resources are not the comprehensive list of resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the District, however, they are a place to start if you’re looking to launch or grow your own business to employ yourself and/or others.
- DOEE Business Resources
- Department of Small & Local Business Development
- Build a Dream trainings for entrepreneurs
- Aspire to Entrepreneurship for returning citizens
- Daily walk-in clinic for small businesses
- 202 Creates
- Free co-working and business advice on Tuesdays
- DCRA Small Business Resource Center
- DC Women’s Business Center
- Many incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces