Opportunities Center – St Elizabeths West Campus
The Opportunities Center at the St. Elizabeths West Campus officially opened to the public on February 1, 2010. The Center accepts employment applications from the community, which are then made available to the contractors working on the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation at the St. Elizabeths Campus, as well as contractors working on other federal projects. The Center is designed to raise awareness about project objectives, employment and business opportunities, and other community benefits. In addition, the Center is designed to act as a community resource where interested parties can access updated information on project progress and doing business with GSA. GSA has also made the Center available to workforce groups and civic organizations for meetings, job fairs and training sessions. Upcoming meetings can be found under News & Events. Other related sites can be found under the Links
Operation: The Opportunities Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive applications. GSA personnel, assigned to the Center, are available to offer assistance to prospective employees that need help in completing the application. The front desk can be reached at 202-561-6910. When visiting the center, applicants may also pick up an informational brochure about upcoming training sessions/job fairs scheduled at the Center. The completed applications are recorded in an excel database and then made available to prospective employers, who are responsible for pre-screening and interviewing applicants. The employment application can be downloaded here: Application for Trade Employment.
- Resume Writing Workshop – Training Grounds, Inc. offers a professional resume writing workshop in the Center twice monthly. Interested persons may sign up for this workshop, enabling them to prepare a resume to compliment and highlight their construction skills.Please call 202-561-6910 to register for the next available session.
- Construction Day – On a monthly basis, a representative from a Clark Construction Group, LLC, a general contractor on-site, provides an overview of the construction, highlighting the skills and qualifications needed to gain employment within the industry.Please call 202-561-6910 to register for the next available session.
- Other Job Postings – GSA has offered the local community an area in the Center where they may post other employment opportunities.
Pre-Apprenticeship Program: With the help of Recovery funds, GSA has provided a $1.3 million grant to the Community Services Agency of the Washington DC for pre-apprenticeship training. This program, titled "Building Futures," enables area residents to gain practical benefits from the training designed to make them better candidates for union construction apprenticeship programs and jobs in the construction sector. The six-week program trains and places workers into apprenticeships and entry level jobs in the basic construction trades. Construction math review, blueprint reading, the fundamentals of federal safety rules, and first aid classes are included in the curriculum. Information on various career paths and training programs is available to those enrolled. Classes for 18-to-24 year olds are held at the nonprofit Covenant House Washington in Congress Heights, and classes for people 25-and-older are held at a union office on Kenilworth Avenue NE. Further training is offered through the nonprofit Wider Opportunities for Women. Additional information can be found at http://www.dclabor.org/ht/d/ProgramDetails/i/257/pid/46784
Contractors working at St. Elizabeths must submit for approval an apprenticeship plan that has been registered and approved by the Department of Labor. The Plan must be detailed and promote the growth of skilled craft labor. Each contractor is required to report on the Plan to Congresswoman Norton on a quarterly basis.
8(a) Small Business Training: GSA's Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU) advocates for small, small
disadvantaged, veteran, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, and women business owners. With a mission to promote increased access
to GSA's nationwide procurement opportunities, outreach activities make it possible for the small business community to meet key
contracting experts and be counseled on the procurement process. Numerous small businesses have been in contact with the St. Elizabeths
Contracting Officer and met to discuss the opportunities available on the project. Approximately 70% of project contracts have been
issued to an 8(a) certified business, while almost 30% have a benefited small, disadvantaged business.
The Opportunities Center offers on-site training monthly for firms to become a certified 8(a) small business. Interested parties can learn about the policies and procedures for 8(a) Certification, receive assistance in preparing the required documentation in a "Hands On" Computer Lab, and receive onsite technical assistance from GSA and an SBA representative.
Community Outreach Efforts: GSA maintains a presence in the community by sending a representative to Ward 8 Advisory
Neighborhood Council, Workforce Development Council, Barry Farm Council meetings, as well as other community meetings. The representative
is available to respond to questions about the campus and provide an update on project construction. GSA's Campus Development Team is
continuing their outreach efforts. From the time of the Center's groundbreaking debut, GSA has partnered with various Boy Scout troops in
the Metropolitan area, local homeless shelters as well as other nonprofit organizations such as Jumpstart and Kites for Peace. The campus
also holds annual flag ceremonies celebrating Memorial Day and Veterans Day honoring the men and women who died while serving in the United States
Armed Forces. Walking tours of the St. Elizabeths West Campus, which is a National Historic Landmark, are available monthly through the DC Historic
Preservation League and GSA. Those interested in a tour may sign up at the DC HPL website:
Monitoring and Evaluation: GSA monitors the activities taking place at the Opportunities Center through required reporting. Such findings are maintained by the Center's Coordinator, who reports directly to the Director and the Project's lead Contracting Officer. The Center will evaluate its performance and contribution to the economic benefit of the community.