Several members of the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Modified Apprentice Training Program took part in a painting course that led to a certification, hosted by Sherwin Williams.
“This program is designed to help individuals learn the basics of the trade and to get an opportunity to get a job with a painting contractor,” said Bill Allman, Sherwin Williams principal trainer who has been working with DCHA since 2008.
The class also helps teach students how to work as a team and comradery, he said.
The training program, or ATP, provides participants an opportunity to become work ready while creating a pipeline of applicants who are attractive to employers, including DCHA and its contractors. The Sherwin Williams program has been working with DCHA and its customers since 2008 and easily fit into the program filled with DCHA customers and their neighbors.
Thanks to the ATP program, this class “already has the focus and direction on getting a job,” Allman said. “We are the closing section of the program.”
Throughout ATP, apprentices learn light maintenance, landscaping, painting, carpentry, electrical, and other projects that will improve the curb appeal of DCHA communities.
Joshua Kenner, who applied to the ATP program to learn new skills and potentially be hired by DCHA, said, “My main focus was plumbing, but when I heard you could get certified [in painting] I hopped on it.”
Dayonna Jones, a member of DCHA’s vacant unit crew and a graduate from the third cohort of ATP, was offered the opportunity to take the class due to limited learning last year during the global health emergency.
“I love this paining class. He taught me stuff I didn’t know,” she said. “I thought painting was easy, just put it on a roll and put it on the wall, but there are techniques I wasn’t aware of.”
At the end of this year’s ATP program, the apprentices compete for positions within DCHA and with private sector employers. A Section 3 virtual job fair for this year’s ATP team will be held on November 12.
DCHA will continue to provide supportive services the graduates may need following graduation.
For more information about DCHA’s Workforce Development Initiative, please call (202) 645-5023.