§ 32–242. Programs for employment and training of young District domiciliaries.
*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on January 28, 2024. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(a) The Mayor shall establish and implement programs, subject to the annual appropriation of funds, for the employment and training of young persons who are domiciliaries of the District of Columbia, as follows:
(1) Summer youth jobs. —
(A)(i) A summer youth jobs program to provide for the employment or training each summer of not fewer than 10,000 or more than 21,000 youth. Youth shall be 14 through 24 years of age on the date of enrollment in the program; provided, that the program shall provide employment or training each summer to no more than 900 youth ages 22 through 24 years of age on the date of enrollment.
(ii) Youth 14 or 15 years of age at the date of enrollment shall receive an hourly work readiness training rate of not less than $6.25.
(iii) Youth ages 16 to 21 years at the date of enrollment shall be compensated at an hourly rate of not less than $8.25.
(iv) Youth 22 through 24 years of age at the date of enrollment shall be compensated at an hourly rate equal to the minimum wage specified in § 32-1003.
(v)(I) At least 100 participants shall be placed with host employers that also employ registered apprentices.
(II) For the purposes of this sub-subparagraph, host employers may be those that participate in the summer youth jobs program through the District of Columbia Public Schools' Career Ready Internship Program.
(A-i) Registration for the summer youth jobs program shall occur annually.
(B) The weekly number of hours of employment under the summer youth jobs program shall be established according to the age of the youth to be employed and the nature and requirements of the job, but shall not be fewer than 20 hours or more than 40 hours per week. Participants in this program shall be employed for a period of no more than 6 weeks; provided, that Opportunity Youth may be employed for up to 12 weeks.
(C) Employment may include an appropriate number of supervisory positions at an hourly wage of no less than $9.25 and no greater than the minimum wage specified in § 32-1003. Supervisory positions shall not be subject to the requirements under this paragraph regarding the number of hours and weeks of employment.
(D) The Department of Employment Services shall implement the summer youth jobs program subject to the appropriation of funds or availability of funds through public-private partnerships between the District government and a District business that has the ability to employ youth under this program; provided, that these partnerships shall be subject to all federal and District laws, rules, and regulations relating to the procurement and award of contracts, grants, or other government assistance. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “District Business” means a corporation or any entity carrying on any trade or business in the District of Columbia that is subject to taxation under § 47-1807.02 or § 47-1808.03.
(2) In-school employment and work readiness training. — The Department of Employment Services shall implement an in-school youth employment and work readiness training program to provide for the employment or training during the school year of students aged 14 through 21 years on a part-time basis at no less than the federal minimum wage, or work readiness training rate at no less than $5.25 per hour. Priority shall be given to students who meet the eligibility criteria and standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, approved July 22, 2014 (128 Stat. 1425; 29 U.S.C. § 3101 et seq.) (“Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act”), as identified in regulations issued to implement this subchapter. The Mayor may provide financial incentives to increase performance outcomes.
(2A) School year internship program. —
(A) A program called the School Year Internship Program ("Program") for a minimum of 1000 District high school students, each year, to provide work-based learning opportunities during the school year.
(B)(i) High school students, including students from public schools, public charter schools, private schools, and students who are homeschooled, may apply to the Department of Employment Services ("DOES") to be matched with an internship host through the Program; provided, that a student may not otherwise participate in an internship, in-school youth employment, or a work-readiness program.
(ii) DOES shall give priority over all other applications to the applications of students who are identified as one or more of the following:
(II) In the District's foster care system;
(III) Qualified for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; or
(IV) A high school student that is one year older, or more, than the expected age for the grade in which the student is enrolled.
(iv) DOES shall reserve at least 100 internships for District-involved youth in Fiscal Year 2023.
(C) DOES shall notify students of their placement with an internship host by September 15 of each year.
(D) Interns shall remain matched with their internship host between the first week of October and the last day of May.
(E) DOES shall pay interns a training rate of at least $10 per hour, which it shall pay by way of a debit card provided to the intern or by direct deposit.
(F)(i) Internship hosts may be nonprofit organizations, public schools or public charter schools, government agencies, or private businesses.
(ii) Prospective internship hosts shall submit applications to participate in the Program no later than July 1 of each year. The application shall include a detailed job description that identifies specific tasks, projects, or duties that the intern will perform and the name and job title of the individual who will directly supervise the intern.
(iii) DOES shall review internship host applications and shall give priority to applications that will engage an intern in work experience activities, rather than work readiness activities, for the majority of an intern's time.
(G) DOES shall implement the Program through public-private partnerships between the District government and an internship host that has the ability to employ youth under the Program, subject to all federal and District laws, rules, and regulations relating to the procurement and award of contracts, grants, or other government assistance.
(H)(i) DOES shall develop benchmarks for interns' growth and development in work readiness, which internship hosts shall utilize to assess an intern's work readiness.
(ii) An internship host shall provide its written assessment of an intern's work readiness to DOES within 30 days after the end of the internship.
(I) For School Year 2022-2023, DOES may conduct a mid-year application cycle for students and internship hosts. Students placed with an internship host in the mid-year application cycle shall begin their internships no later than the second week of January 2023 and remain matched with the host through the last day of May 2023.
(J)(i) In Fiscal Year 2023, DOES shall issue grants totaling at least $225,000, to governmental or non-governmental entities to host District-involved youth. To qualify for a grant, an entity shall:
(I) Submit an application, supplemental to the application required pursuant to subparagraph (F)(ii) of this paragraph, that specifies the maximum number of District-involved youth the entity is able to host:
(II) Be able to provide programming in the District;
(III) Have experience providing workshops and programming for youth ages 14 through 21 on topics including life skills, workforce readiness, health (sexual, mental, physical), financial literacy, career exploration, or parenting; and
(IV) Have experience working with District-involved youth.
(ii) DOES shall:
(I) Work closely with agencies and organizations listed in subparagraph (K)(ii) of this paragraph to recruit District-involved youth; and
(II) Enter into any agreements with other District agencies or grantees required by law to prevent disclosure of legally protected information related to District-involved youth.
(iii) A grantee shall:
(I) Submit monthly reports to DOES on District-involved youth interns' growth and development; and
(II) Conduct at least 4 hours of intern training a month on subjects that may include workforce readiness, self-advocacy and personal agency, health (physical, mental, sexual), career exploration, life skills, and financial literacy.
(iv) Every 3 months from the date of placement of District-involved youth with a grantee, a grantee shall submit a report on the following from the previous 3 months:
(I) The number of hours each District-involved youth worked and participated in training;
(II) The number of total training hours the grantee conducted with District-involved youth, including the number of interns who participated in the training;
(III) A list of the training topics that were covered during the reporting period; and
(IV) Intern growth and development highlights.
(K) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "District-involved youth" means a youth aged 14 through 21 who receives services from the following agencies or organizations:
(i) District Department of Human Services;
(ii) Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services;
(iii) Child and Family Services Agency;
(iv) Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement;
(v) Organizations that receive District funding for truancy prevention or intervention services; or
(vi) Organizations that contract with any agencies listed in sub-sub-subparagraphs (i) through (iv) of this subparagraph to provide services to youth.
(3) Out-of-school, year-round employment and work readiness training. — An out-of-school, year-round employment and work readiness training program to provide youth 16 through 24 years of age with employment at the prevailing entry level wage for the job being performed and no less than the federal minimum wage, or work readiness training at a training rate no less than $5.25 per hour. The Mayor may provide financial incentives to promote work readiness training activities and to increase performance outcomes. Priority shall be given to youth who meet the eligibility criteria and standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as identified in regulations issued to implement this subchapter. The program shall include safeguards to assure that the prospect of employment resulting from this program does not induce students to drop out of school.
(4) On-the-job training program for adults.— An on-the-job training program for unemployed individuals at least 18 years of age. Priority shall be given to participants who meet the eligibility criteria and standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as identified in regulations issued to implement this subchapter. The District government shall reimburse participating employers no more than 75% of the prevailing wage paid for an occupation, as determined by the Mayor, for a period not to exceed 12 months. The employer shall pay all wages in excess of the allowable reimbursement and all fringe benefits. The Mayor shall require that participating private-sector employers agree to hire persons who successfully complete the program. On-the-job training participants shall not displace existing employees or be used as substitutes for regular workers.
(5) Training and retraining for employment.— Programs for pre-employment training and retraining for persons 16 years of age and above. Priority shall be given to participants who meet the eligibility criteria and standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as identified in regulations issued to implement this subchapter. Training programs established pursuant to this paragraph may be coupled with those conducted pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection.
(6)(A) Middle School Career Exploration — DOES shall create a summer pilot program for middle school youth that provides occupational skills, academic enrichment, life skills, career exploration, work readiness, and youth development trainings ("summer pilot program").
(B) DOES may provide an incentive to participants who participate in the summer pilot program.
(C) DOES shall:
(i) Implement the summer pilot program beginning June 1, 2023;
(ii) Be authorized to spend summer pilot program funding to provide meals and snacks to participants;
(iii) Administer a survey to participants following the completion of the summer pilot program; and
(iv) Upon completion of the summer pilot program, submit to the Council a report detailing:
(I) The total number of participants who participated in the summer pilot program;
(II) The total number of participants who completed the summer pilot program;
(III) Partner organizations with whom participants completed their experiences;
(IV) Participants' demographic data, as available; and
(V) Results from the survey administered pursuant to subparagraph (C)(iii) of this paragraph.
(7)(A) Middle School Year-Round Career Exploration – DOES may create an after-school program for middle school youth that provides occupational skills, academic enrichment, life skills, career exploration, work readiness, and youth development trainings during the school year ("year-round pilot program").
(B) DOES may:
(i) Provide an incentive to participants who participate in the year-round pilot program; and
[(ii)] Implement the year-round pilot program in School Year 2023-2024.
(C) DOES shall be authorized to spend year-round pilot program funding to provide meals and snacks to participants.
(a-1) At least 66% of the local funds that the Department of Employment Services uses for training offered pursuant to subsection (a)(2) and (3) of this section each fiscal year shall be spent on in-school youth who are District of Columbia residents and reside or attend a public school or public charter school in Ward 7 or Ward 8, and who are not participants in the District of Columbia Public Schools' Career Bridge Program.
(b) Employment under the programs established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be provided directly with the government of the District of Columbia or with the private sector on a fully funded, partially or match-funded basis through grants to or by contract with nonprofit or profit-making organizations, associations, institutions or businesses. The Mayor shall not use more than 10% of funds for the programs for administrative and vendor costs. The Mayor may enter into performance-based contracts to implement programs described in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) The programs established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may include, but shall not be limited to, the following supportive services and activities: Transportation; orientation; counseling and training; supplies and equipment; and program promotion.
(d) For the purposes of this section, to give priority to participants who meet the eligibility criteria and standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act means to engage in a good-faith effort to fill at least 30% of a program’s available positions with persons who meet the eligibility criteria and standards of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
(e) An employer required by law to pay a minimum wage higher than that specified in this section shall pay such higher wage to persons employed pursuant to this section.
(f) The Mayor of the District of Columbia shall issue regulations to implement this section. The rules and regulations issued by the Mayor for the purpose of implementing the provisions of this section shall be submitted by the Mayor to the Council of the District of Columbia for a 45 calendar-day review period, excluding days of Council recess. No such rules or regulations shall take effect until the end of the 45 calendar-day period beginning on the day such rules or regulations are transmitted by the Mayor to the Chairman of the Council, and then only if during such period the Council does not adopt a resolution disapproving such rules and regulations in whole or in part.
(g)(1) The Department of Employment Services shall collect, and publish on its website, aggregated information on the participants of the summer youth jobs program, including statistics on:
(A) The demographics of participants;
(A-i) The number of participants who were:
(i) Opportunity Youth;
(ii) Opportunity Youth who participated in the program for more than 6 weeks;
(iii) Opportunity Youth who participated in the program for 12 weeks;
(iv) Opportunity Youth who were referred to year-round training or education;
(v) Placed with a host employer that employs registered apprentices; and
(vi) Employed in supervisory positions;
(B) Participants’ activities in the program; and
(C) Participants' employment following the end of the program, including the number of:
(i) Opportunity Youth employed who participated in the program for longer than 6 weeks; and
(ii) Participants who entered a registered apprenticeship program following placement with a host employer that employs registered apprentices.
(2) Beginning December 15, 2019, and annually thereafter, the Department of Employment Services shall publish the information collected pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection for the preceding summer; provided, that information responsive to paragraphs (1)(A-i) and (C)(i) and (ii) of this subsection first may be published in December 2020.
(3) It is the sense of the Council that the Department of Employment Services shall consult with the Council on revising the existing evaluation requirement for the summer youth jobs program to focus on program outcomes and program effectiveness.
(4) With regard to the summer 2015 program only, the Mayor shall conduct an assessment and evaluation of employment outcomes as of December 31, 2015, for summer employment participants 22 through 24 years of age.
(h) When the purchase is reasonably necessary to assist in the effective achievement of a statutorily authorized goal, objective, or responsibility, Department of Employment Services funds may be used to purchase food and non-alcoholic beverages for:
(1) Youth enrolled in the summer youth jobs program;
(2) District government employees at registration events at which participant eligibility is certified or transportation stipends are distributed, or at hiring events; and
(3) Participants, District government employees, and employees of host agencies who attend the annual summer youth employment program closing ceremony.