D.C. Mayor Marion Barry announced yesterday that the city has adopted the public school system's Burdick Career Development Center in the first effort to help train and recruit students for jobs in District agencies.
The adoption means that city officials will act as consultants to teachers, provide resources and give students a taste of their jobs.
"We want to interact with our schools because education is everybody's business," Barry said at Burdick yesterday. "This is something we should've been doing all the while."
About 450 students attend the Burdick center in Northwest, where courses in business, home economics, hotel management and culinary arts are taught.
"Our goal in adopting Burdick is to place students in jobs. We want to place 40 students in city agencies in 1985," said Matthew Shannon, director of the city's employment services department.
Lisa Matthews, a 16-year-old junior and president of the city chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, takes business classes at Burdick and said it "is a great school. Someday I would like to start my own business," but, most students "are not thinking of owning their own businesses. I think that is unfortunate."
Barry said he has been "thinking of ways to emphasize entrepreneurship" to youths who live in D.C. "It's been a problem for a long time. Blacks are not traditionally entrepreneurs. We're used to working for others."
In an unrelated announcement yesterday, the Army's Military District of Washington adopted Syphax Elementary School in Southwest, becoming one of several federal agencies that have adopted D.C. schools.