Councilmember Silverman Introduces Bill to Increase Transparency and Accountability in Workforce Spending

Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) today introduced legislation to comprehensively assess how the District spends an estimated $100 million on workforce development, detailing not only spending but performance outcomes to determine the programs and providers which succeed at placing residents into good jobs and keeping them there, and which ones do not.

“We need to be strategic and work with our big and small businesses to be a good match maker—being empirically outcome driven—so that we fund programs that lead to long-term, living-wage employment,” said Silverman. “Almost every day, I meet with D.C. employers who say they simply can’t find D.C. residents qualified to fill their jobs, and we can’t sit idly by and let that happen anymore.”

The “Workforce Development System Transparency Act of 2017” requires the Mayor to publish online and submit to the Council a spending and outcomes report for all workforce development programs, including adult education, soft skills programs, and occupational training in agencies across the government. Such agencies include the Department of Employment Services, Department of Human Services, D.C. Public Schools, and Office of the State Superintendent of Education, among others.

The bill was co-introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and all the members of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development: Robert White (D-At Large), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), and Trayon White (D-Ward 8). In addition, the bill was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Anita Bonds (D-At Large), David Grosso (I-At Large), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), and Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7).

“I’ve come to call it the Jerry Maguire report: Show Me The Money! And Show Me The Jobs That Come From Spending That Money!” said Silverman. “Without this information, we are missing opportunities to help both our jobseekers and our businesses. With it, we can take a big step toward reducing our opportunity gap and income inequality.”

Under the proposed legislation, the first spending and outcomes report would be due on December 1, 2017, followed by annual updates.

The legislation was referred to the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.