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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and numerous utility and government officials came together Tuesday for the signing of an agreement that formally launches the DC Infrastructure Academy, which is expected to bring the city a multitude of infrastructure-related workforce development activities.

Bowser was joined at Pepco’s Benning Service Center for the signing by Bill Von Hoene, Exelon senior executive vice president, and David Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, along with several other utility and government agency representatives.

The academy is part of a partnership between the city government and union, university and private sector officials.

“Pepco and Exelon are proud to partner with Mayor Bowser and the D.C. government to develop the Infrastructure Academy, laying the groundwork for well-paying jobs and successful careers,” Velazquez said. “As a local company, it’s our job to keep the lights on and the doors of opportunity open for District workers and families from every neighborhood.”

The academy is being funded by the mayor’s $16.75 million commitment in the city’s capital budget and a $5.2 million contribution to workforce development programs that Pepco provided in the Exelon-Pepco merger preceding.

In addition, Pepco and Washington Gas have agreed to provide $500,000 each in cash contributions, donated human resources, equipment, and other in-kind materials and services over the first five years of the academy’s operation.

“Exelon is empowering communities and creating opportunities for people where we live and work,” Von Hoene said. “When we joined forces with Pepco, we committed more than $5 million for job creation and training. The Infrastructure Academy will enable hundreds of people to develop the skills to work in areas that will remain critical to supporting a city like Washington and put them on a path to a good-paying career.”

Bowser added that as a result of the academy, her administration will spread prosperity by getting more residents trained for well-paying, long-term careers.

“The infrastructure industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, and last year, half of D.C.’s open infrastructure jobs went unfilled,” Bowser said. “The DC Infrastructure Academy will give D.C. residents the chance to learn the nuts and bolts of what makes our city run—everything from utilities to transportation and logistics to operations and green technologies—and ensure that they are first in line when it comes to securing the infrastructure jobs of today and tomorrow.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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