DCHA Executive Director Adrieanne Todman spoke to roughly 100 attendees April 26 during the opening of a new center in Southwest D.C. that offers workforce development and training. (lower right photo) A UDC counselor assists a a local resident.

The Ward 6 Greenleaf community cut the ribbon on a state-of-the-art learning and career center – a culmination of efforts between the District of Columbia Housing Authority and the University of the District of Columbia Community College. Offering extensive workforce development and training classes to DCHA customers through the Southwest Family Enhancement & Career Center, the new site offers job search help.

The combined new programming, which falls under DCHA’s Workforce Development Initiative, opened April 26. UDC counselors were on hand to discuss course and degree opportunities with DCHA clients.

“This project was really developed with a focus on helping to bring economic prosperity to communities all over the city, regardless of their zip codes and to really think about how we expand prosperity in a way that it respects the people who have been here and contributed to this city,” DCHA Executive Director Adrieanne Todman told the crowd of roughly 100 attendees. “I am so pleased to have these new services available for our DCHA community. Not only will customers benefit from having job and computer training so close to home, they will also have opportunities to attend other UDC-CC programs offsite to continue building their careers.”

UDC-CC Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning Division will offer courses at the DCHA Southwest Family Enhancement & Career Center, as well as an intake and referral system for DCHA residents to attend WDLL courses at UDC’s campuses citywide. Workforce development and occupational training, such as career assessments, introductory computer classes, and apartment maintenance, are among the courses available. Additionally, courses for medical assistants, hospitality, foreign languages, and pharmacology are being offered.

Gregory Scott, a resident who was able to receive housing with help from DCHA, said that many of the young people in the District could benefit from the DCHA’s efforts to establish learning centers in their backyards. “Programs like this that place opportunities at the feet of residents should be applauded because they cast aside any challenge that a person would have in gaining exposure,” he said. “A lot of young people believe that so long as they have a place to stay and can eat from one day to the next, they are okay. That is just surviving, it’s not living. This will help them build lives.”