Continuing with the design to revitalize Washington, D.C.’s Southwest Waterfront, mayor Vincent Gray announced on March 10 that Graduate School USA signed an agreement to establish what will be called the Center for Education and Training at the heart of “The Wharf” project. The decision to construct a facility makes Graduate School USA the first major business to commit as a long-term tenant as part of the development scheduled for erection along the Washington Channel in the coming year. Joining Gray were Council Chair Kwame Brown, Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton along with other local government affiliates who welcomed the new project.

“The creation of this center represents a huge commitment to prepare our residents for careers through training and education,” Gray said at his presentation. “The Graduate School USA’s 90-year history of training and educating people in the public sector makes them the ideal partner for The Wharf neighborhood. We are excited they decided to expand their mission right here in this landmark waterfront development.”

Expected to break ground in 2012, The Wharf will be a $2 million residential site that will also host retail, hotel, office and recreational space. It is expected to open in 2015. The site will cover 27 acres on land and 24 acres across the water, making it one of the more anticipated construction projects taking place in the District.

“Creating this vibrant mixed-use urban riverfront brings new and distinctive retail, restaurant, neighborhood living and cultural destinations to the District,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Jose Sousa. “We know this project will deliver on the promise of becoming one of the marquee waterfront destinations for Washington, the region and the nation.”

As the development’s first multi-purpose project, the Center for Education and Training could drive immediate traffic to The Wharf after its completion. The center will provide resources for career seeking individuals interested in federal, state and local positions in addition to offering training for a variety of vocational openings and other jobs.

“This center demonstrates our extensive commitment to the DC community,” Dr. Jerry Ice, CEO and president of Graduate School USA, said in a press release. “We are working closely with the city to understand areas with the most potential and the highest need for workers. Our goal is to bring a variety of training options to residents in one location to prepare them for rewarding careers now and in the future.”

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