Taking Local Hire to the Next Level

March 27, 2015 -- Sebrina Owens-Wilson

U.S. Department of Transportation Launches Local Hire Pilot

From Los Angeles to New York, Seattle to Boston, and many places in between, the Partnership for Working Families and our affiliates have developed some of the most successful local hire programs in the country. Targeted local hire programs and policies create real and effective pathways for low-income people into good construction jobs.  Absent these programs, major development projects typically fail to create job opportunities for local people, and in particular low-income residents and people of color.  Our innovative targeted local hire policies have demonstrated that new strategies can work, and have moved over 100,000 local residents into good construction jobs.  

Although we’ve had great success implementing local hire policies, many cities and states that want to create them have been challenged by the restrictions on establishing local hiring requirements on federal funded transit projects.  

The Partnership has played a strong role in pushing the federal Department of Transportation to reevaluate long-standing policies that prohibit targeted local hire on the projects they fund.    

And it’s working. 

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a one-year pilot program that allows cities and states to create targeted local hire programs for transportation projects supported by federal funds. Further, USDOT officials have issued a proposed rule that would make the allowance of local hire programs permanent.  

This announcement marks tremendous progress in making the promise of construction careers a reality for low-income communities. 

But we need your help. It’s critical that U.S. DOT hear how and why communities support this rule. The public commenting period on the proposed rule ends on April 6.  We encourage you to join us in submitting comments that lift up the successes of local hire programs in your community and support U.S. DOT in this groundbreaking effort.  

Click here to access the proposed rule and for instructions on submitting comments.

To learn more about the Partnership and local hire, visit our website or contact Sebrina Owens-Wilson at sowilson@forworkingfamilies.org.