Some 30 men and women graduated from the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Modified Apprentice Training Program and are on their way towards self-sufficiency.
The six-month program in its second year provides basic training to DCHA customers in the fields of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and landscaping, among others. The goal of the program is to have these apprentices trained and employed by the agency or partner organizations.
“We have learned in this six-month period life knowledge from our supervisors that will stay with us forever,” said SheKita McCallister, one of the graduates, who thanked the ATP supervisors for teaching the class to work together. “Thank you for giving us this opportunity and believing in D.C. Housing residents.”
The program provides DCHA customers the opportunity to learn job skills while also working to enhance the appearance and curb appeal of DCHA properties.
“I am so proud of each and every one of you and all that you have accomplished in the past six months,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “Based on the combined success of last year’s and this year’s graduating class, nearly 100 apprentices have taken their job and customer skills into new careers. You are creating a new future for yourselves and your families.”
In addition to working throughout DCHA’s portfolio, the graduates participated in professional development trainings every other Friday that helped them have a more rounded education and training. A Wider Circle helped with these trainings and made sure all of the graduates had suits and business attire for the ceremony.
Of this year’s class of apprentices, 20 are already on their way to full-time employment. Three others had second interviews lined up as of graduation.
“You just ended a chapter in your book, but you are about to start a new one. I know you guys are ready,” said Willie Simms, an ATP supervisor. “Nothing can hold you back. Be ready for your future. Make it great.”