Think Local First Programs

The Employer Advocate Quarterly Seminar

Living Wage Certification Program

Workforce For All

Think Local First DC  is partnering with DC’s Department of Human Services (DHS) to match DC residents with locally owned businesses.

DHS recruits, screens, and matches eligible participants with the job opportunities identified by TLF.  We’re working to ensure a successful work experience by providing job readiness training, on-going job coaching, and benefits such as childcare and transportation subsidies.

DHS and TLF provide local businesses with the training needed to make the most of the program, including ideas on how to maximize the potential and retain new hires and applying for tax credits.

TLF will employ a number of communication tools and strategies to promote the initiative and the local businesses that participate in it. Participating businesses will have a chance to be featured in Public Service Announcements, advertising, op-eds via authorship, news interviews and social media posts as companies that both contribute to the local economy and to the community.

If you have a vacancy in your business or know of one, please contact Michele Molotsky:

Local First Unplugged Series

Learn from Local First Award Winners as they share stories of hard work, perseverance and success!

April – DC Maker Workshop with JC Smith of Bailiwick Clothing

JC won the 2017 Local First DC Maker Award for being a local business, entrepreneur and artist who designs, makes, produces, and/or assembles a product in the District of Columbia that makes an impact.

May – Ripple Effect Discussion with Paul Ruppert of Slim’s, Upshur Street Books​, Petworth Citizen and Room 11

Paul won the 2017 Local First Ripple Effect Award for supporting the local economy by purchasing supplies and services from other local businesses, creating a “ripple effect” as money circulates within the local community.

June – The Builders Dinner

City First Bank won the 2017 Local First Builder’s Award as they have deep roots in the community and known for positive investments in DC’s people, culture, and future.

Local First DC Member Mixer

Join us for the 2nd Annual Member Mixer which brings together board members, business owners, nonprofit leaders, and policymakers to learn more about Think Local First DC.

Coming to a bar near you in July!

DC City Council Candidate Forums

Local business owners present their issues and concerns about doing business in DC with candidates running for the DC City Council.

Ward 1 May 1st 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Midlands 3333 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC. 20010
Ward 5 May TBD 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at DC Brau 3178 Bladensburg Rd NE B, Washington, DC 20018

Workforce For All

Think Local First DC is working with DC’s Department of Human Services on a pilot project to match DC residents with local employers.

Grown in DC

Grown in DC is a collaboration of several DC organizations working to build a strong, resilient, and productive food system that improves health and generates economic opportunities for the District’s most marginalized community.

As a way to address food deserts, Grown in DC workw with community members to become food entrepreneurs: to grow, process and sell consumables goods. The program both makes quality fresh food available and provides income for people.


  • Dreaming Out Loud is a DC-based non-profit creating economic opportunities for the DC metro region’s marginalized community members through building a healthy, equitable food system.
  • Hustlaz 2 Harvesters (H2H) recruit residents and returning citizens to participate in the project
  • Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) conducts workshops on how to start, manage and grow a successful cottage food business in DC
  • School of Food provides training in the food business including financial forecasting and creating a sales pitch
  • Think Local First DC (TLF) provides branding, marketing and outreach to local restaurants