DC mayor's first-year accomplishments reflect metro improvements

More people are eyeing homes for sale in Washington, DC, due in large part to recent improvements in the area. DC Mayor Vincent Gray has taken a proactive approach to making the metro an appealing option for homebuyers.

When Gray became the sixth mayor of the District of Columbia on January 2, 2011, the area faced the perils of a challenging economy. According to the Washington Post, DC entered 2011 with an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, while the national jobless rate was 0.3 percent lower. Since that time, the mayor and his administration have added jobs and created new projects to stimulate economic growth in the district.

New employment opportunities
According to a press release from the DC Office of Communications, the district increased its workforce by 3.7 percent between January 2011 and January 2012. The nation's capital is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike, which has led more people to pursue jobs in the area.

For example, DC is home to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Smithsonian and other attractions that draw thousands of visitors annually. Washington.org notes that the district saw a 5.9 increase in total visitation in 2010, as more than 17 million people visited the metro. As more people make trips to explore the region, the number of business advancement opportunities increases.

The Associated Press stated that DC's tourism industry earned $6 billion last year. This industry employed more than 64,000 workers in 2010, and businesses could continue to hire new employees as the region collects profits from tourists.

Development projects
Making DC a beautiful, family-friendly metro has been a priority for the Gray administration, and the mayor has stepped up his efforts by launching several projects. The DC Office of Communications reports that these endeavors are designed to create new construction and permanent jobs over the next three to five years. Locales such as the Hine Junior High School, St. Elizabeth's East Campus and Walter Reed Army Medical Center will see improvements that may enhance the area and create new jobs for district residents.

Gray has helped DC locals find jobs to support these programs. Initiatives such as One City - One Hire have connected employers and job seekers. During the program's first four months, over 1,400 residents were placed into positions, and by January 2012, more than 350 companies have become involved.

It's an exciting time to be a resident in DC, and those who join the community have a chance to take part in the district's expansion.