Skyland Workforce Center Celebrates Five Years of Helping People Find Jobs

(Washington, DC):  The Skyland Workforce Center and its nonprofit partners today celebrated five years of helping people get trained and placed in jobs.

Many jobseekers face multiple challenges related to literacy, computer skills, work readiness, transportation, housing and other barriers to employment. The Center leverages the expertise of its six partners to provide high-quality workforce development programs in one location, leading to work-ready employee candidates, career-focused job placement, economic self-sufficiency and improved quality of life.

The Center’s partners are Byte Back, Calvary Women’s Services, Life Asset, Southeast Ministry, Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, and Samaritan Ministry. The Center is a program of Building Bridges Across the River.

Among the people recognized during an anniversary celebration today were three graduates of Skyland Workforce Center’s training programs – Dexter Wilson (pictured above, with Center Director Annemarie Bairstow), who works for District Electric Services, Michele Holmes, who works for Worcester Eisenbrandt, and Edward Thomas, who works for Safeway.

Since opening its doors in December 2014, the Center has served more than 5,000 people, residing mostly in DC’s Wards 7 and 8, and placed 561 people in jobs spanning a wide range of fields: construction, retail, hospitality and office. Of those, 25 have been hired to work at the Skyland Town Center, a retail/residential development being built across the street by WC Smith and Rappaport.

“When we opened the Skyland Workforce Center in 2014, it was a new venture for BBAR, and an experiment in having nonprofits collaborate on service delivery,” said Chris Smith, chair of the BBAR Board and chairman and CEO of WC Smith. “We are thrilled to see that the experiment was a success, and that so many people have been able to receive services at the Center.”

BBAR was established in 1997 to improve the quality of life for children and adults who reside east of the Anacostia River by providing leadership, management and financial oversight of the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), 11th Street Bridge Park, THEARC Farm, THEARC Theater and Skyland Workforce Center. Through these projects, BBAR uses a multi-sector approach to address significant social, health, environmental and economic disparities that exist in DC. Training and connecting people with jobs is a key part of this picture.

More information about the Skyland Workforce Center can be found at




CONTACT:  Annemarie Bairstow

January 30, 2020