D.C. Mentoring and Achievement Program (D.C. MAAP), a new workforce development program in Southwest D.C., opened its doors Saturday, Feb. 16. This new initiative will assist D.C. residents looking for entry-level jobs, particularly in the hospitality, entertainment and service sectors. The economic, racial and physical landscape of Southwest is changing rapidly. By working with local businesses and job seekers, D.C. MAAP aims to empower all Southwest residents to participate in, and benefit from, the neighborhood’s development.

Southwest residents LeRoy Potts, Adom Cooper, and Alyssa Casey started D.C. MAAP because they saw a growing need to offer workforce development and connect Southwest residents to local career opportunities. In its initial months, D.C. MAAP will hold open office hours the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at Riverside Baptist Church. During office hours, D.C. MAAP will provide resume writing assistance, mock interviews and other career guidance. Later this year, D.C. MAAP will launch a series of workshops to help participants refine their professional and interpersonal skills. The program plans to coordinate closely with local employers, soliciting input on what skills and jobs are most in demand. It also plans to grow existing relationships with other community institutions and efforts, including the Southwest Neighborhood Association and The Wharf.

Ultimately, its founders envision D.C. MAAP not just helping residents find jobs, but helping them define, and advance in, career pathways. The program will focus on connecting residents to jobs that offer opportunities to pursue leadership and management positions in the future. Developments such as Nationals Stadium, Audi Field, and The Wharf have the potential to benefit all members of the Southwest Waterfront community. D.C. MAAP’s founders hope that by building relationships and offering services from within the Southwest community, the program can benefit residents by connecting them to jobs with career paths and benefit employers by connecting them to local talent.

D.C. MAAP services are open to any D.C. resident, but priority will be given to residents who live in or near the Southwest/Waterfront community. To contact D.C. MAAP, please visit their website (www.dcmaap.wordpress.com), email at WeAreDCMAAP@gmail.com, or call at 202-816-8572. You can visit D.C. MAAP on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at Riverside Baptist Church, located at 699 Maine Ave., SW.

By Alyssa Casey

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