I would like to bring to your attention a front-page article that appeared in the Sunday, Oct. 4, edition of The Post. The article, "D.C. Labor Pool Making a Splash in Suburbs," by Staff Writer Chris Spolar, highlighted the growing number of District residents working in jobs in the Washington suburbs.
While the article properly focused on the region's changing employment pattern, I found it regrettable that the reporter failed to attribute the role of the Department of Employment Services in initiating and promoting the labor exchange between District residents and suburban employers through its Regional Employment Program.
This omission is regrettable for two reasons: first, an innovative program such as this one required the total commitment and support of many department employees who would have been inspired by a reference to the agency's success in making the program workable and meaningful for more than 6,500 District workers, as well as participating employers.
Second, I devoted my time to discuss with Miss Spolar how the Regional Employment Program works, its transportation subsidy and the increasing support of this program among regional jurisdictions -- a key facet of the program. In addition, Miss Spolar attended a Regional Employment Program luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 22, hosted by Mayor Marion Barry, who originated the idea for the program. Media releases and other background materials provided to Miss Spolar outlined how the mayor founded the program in 1985 and continues to be its most ardent supporter.
Although the article pointed to the growing use of the District's labor pool by suburban employers, it failed to mention properly that the program is sponsored by the Department of Employment Services. This omission, in my view, was a disservice to District residents who would possibly use the information to contact us in order to take advantage of the program.
We are pleased to share with The Post information regarding programs and services such as the Regional Employment Program. At the same time, we feel that the newspaper has a responsibility to report such local trends and issues within their proper context. We regret that The Post missed this opportunity and failed to inform its readers fully about the availability of such an important service.
F. ALEXIS H. ROBERSON Director, Department of Employment Services Government of the District of Columbia Washington