Rally For Passage Of Community Hiring Legislation

Published on May 19, 2023, 2:15 pm
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The Adams administration today co-hosted a rally with members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus, as well as union officials and community advocates to urge state lawmakers to pass legislation authorizing community hiring provisions for New York City. The proposed legislation — part of Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Agenda” — would empower the city to set local hiring requirements in city-funded contracts, connecting an estimated 36,000 New Yorkers from economically disadvantaged communities to apprenticeship opportunities and jobs annually.

“Community hiring is critical to building an equitable, inclusive, and broad-based recovery,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “Leveraging the city’s contracts to deliver jobs and apprenticeships to communities with the greatest level of need just makes sense. We look forward to working with our partners in Albany to get this done before the end of session.”

“Thanks to Mayor Adams’ leadership, the city is now 99 percent of the way back to pre-pandemic job levels and the economy is returning to full strength,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “We urgently need community hiring to provide employers with increased access to local talent, ensure our recovery doesn’t leave the neediest New Yorkers behind, and maximize the city’s economic gains.”

The community hiring bill would allow New York City to use its purchasing power to provide opportunities to low-income New Yorkers and those living in high-poverty areas. It would connect an estimated 36,000 people with apprenticeships and job opportunities each year.

The legislation establishes a new city Office of Community Hiring and Workforce Development, which would be empowered to set forth hiring goals for city procurement contracts. These hiring goals mandate that a certain percentage of jobs or apprenticeship opportunities created through these contracts would go to low-income New Yorkers, or New Yorkers who reside in an area that is considered economically disadvantaged.

Once these hiring goals are set forth, the city will be allowed under the legislation to incorporate community hiring into the award methodology for contracts, considering criteria that include a bidder’s ability to meet or exceed community hiring goals. Finally, the legislation enables the city to connect contractors with referral sources, such as workforce development programs, that will help them meet their hiring goals by referring qualified talent.

“Our economic recovery and future prosperity depend on the diverse talents of all New Yorkers connecting and contributing to the economy,” said Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “Talent is New York City’s most important resource, and what makes our city great. Through community hiring legislation, we can leverage the city’s purchasing power to generate employment, apprenticeship opportunities, and economic mobility for low-income New Yorkers.”

“Our low-income communities are still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic, and creative solutions like the community hiring program are critical to our efforts to level the playing field for vulnerable New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park. “We are so grateful for the incredible support for the city’s advocacy to amend the relevant state legislation to better reflect the urgent needs of New Yorkers and prioritize the true recovery of New York City.”

“Coming out of a pandemic that threatened both our lives and our livelihoods and making jobs available is exactly how we are going to bring our city back,” said New York State Senator Kevin Parker. “The Community Hiring Legislation will create full-time jobs at a living wage with benefits for thousands of New Yorkers. These jobs create the economic base that fuels small businesses and will invigorate our neighborhoods. I call on both legislative houses to pass this critical bill as soon as possible and for the governor to sign it into law to empower our communities.”

“I’ve spent the better part of my career in workforce development with the sole purpose of achieving equity in access to education, training and quality jobs, which is why I am proud to champion and sponsor the community hiring bill,” said New York State Assemblymember Stefani Zinerman. “I applaud the mayor for leveraging the full purchasing power of the city of New York and his relationship with organized labor, to achieve equity in the workforce. This bill when enacted will close the ever-increasing wealth gap. Our goal is to create opportunities and open more doors for historically under-resourced or disadvantaged individuals, to onboard the next generation and bring back those impacted by the CoViD-19 pandemic.”

“Building strong communities requires not only investment but also a commitment to fostering economic opportunities for all,” said New York State Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages, chair, New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus. “I along with the member of the BPHA caucus, firmly believe in the power of community hiring initiatives. By prioritizing the employment of local residents, we can strengthen our neighborhoods, uplift families, and generate tangible pathways to economic stability.”

“I believe that Mayor Adams’ Working Peoples Agenda, with an emphasis on the community hiring bill, is a vital step in the right direction for low-income New Yorkers, as well as those living in underserved communities,” said New York State Senator James Sanders, Jr. “Not only does it set forward hiring goals for city procurement contracts, but it ensures that jobs and apprenticeships that arise as a result of these contracts will go to New Yorkers in need of opportunities. That being said, I support the passage of Mayor Adams’ New York state community hiring bill.”

“I am working to pass the community hiring bill in Albany because of its potential to transform the lives of low-income families and uplift entire communities. This legislation will connect economically disadvantaged New Yorkers with jobs,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Upon the bill’s passage, Mayor Adams will be able to set goals for the recruitment of workers from low-income communities and NYCHA housing in capital projects. This will deliver 40,000 building trades jobs that offer living wages, benefits, and a path to economic prosperity. Besides providing New Yorkers with jobs, community hiring puts our taxpayer dollars to work: it ensures that more than $10 billion in capital spending each year lifts New Yorkers out of poverty. I am proud to partner with Mayor Adams to pass this important bill.”

“Community hiring is a no-brainer,” said New York State Assemblymember Khaleel M. Anderson. “Working-class New Yorkers are ready to work, but far too many skilled professionals are bypassed for economic opportunity right where they live. The community hiring bill is a prime opportunity for New York to invest in historically excluded and disproportionately Black and Brown neighborhoods to achieve a fairer, more equitable, and inclusive economy. I look forward to supporting this bill to help stabilize our working-class families, grow the local economy, and close the racial wealth gap.”

“City contracting should not only improve our infrastructure, but also uplift working New Yorkers along the way,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “Community hiring is an issue of basic fairness as it ensures that those who benefit from our city contribute to our community’s growth. I support state legislation to authorize community hiring provisions in New York City.”

“As a councilmember, creating good paying jobs for New Yorkers is one of my highest priorities,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “I am proud to stand with Mayor Adams, State Senator Parker, Assemblymember Zinerman, and our partners in labor to support the community hiring legislation. New York City is the economic engine of this state, which is why the legislature should equip this city with every possible tool to open up career opportunities for our residents. I look forward to working with my colleagues at the state level to strengthen our workforce and bring quality jobs to New York City.”

“Community hiring is a win-win for everyone,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. “The community hiring bill is an opportunity to fill numerous vacancies with New Yorkers eager to work; it also holds employers accountable for local hiring. When we invest in good-paying jobs in our city, our communities and economy thrive.”

“One of the most effective ways to lift communities that have been historically marginalized is to achieve project labor agreements and advance policies that promote local hiring,” said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. “I commend Mayor Adams for expanding on efforts to increase representation in the trades and increase economic opportunity. I look forward to continued partnership to support paths to good jobs and careers.”

“This bill is a vital step towards empowering our local communities and fostering inclusive economic growth,” said New York City Councilmember Nantasha Williams. “By requiring companies that benefit from city contracts to hire local community members, we are able to create more opportunities for the members of our city, especially those from economically disadvantaged areas, to secure meaningful employment. This legislation will not only uplift individuals and their families, but also contribute to a more prosperous city for all of its residents.”

“If New York is to continue its upward trajectory, we must prioritize uplifting our low-income neighborhoods and communities of color by driving economic recovery and providing opportunities to pursue the middle class,” said Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “The community hiring legislation would create opportunity through all sectors by leveraging the economic power of the city to ensure working class New Yorkers have access to good-paying, family sustaining careers.”

“Community hiring provides a path to a more equitable workforce for all New Yorkers by ensuring that local residents, especially those from marginalized neighborhoods, have a fair chance at employment opportunities within their own communities,” said Vincent Alvarez, president, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “This legislation will also help to strengthen local economies by fostering economic activity and growth within the communities where people both live and work.”

“It is time to rebuild New York City’s middle class with good paying union construction jobs. Mayor Adams is prioritizing community hiring and the building trades apprenticeship programs provide careers and pathways out of poverty,” said Lou Coletti, president and CEO, Building Trades Employers Association. “The impact is profound, and the numbers have resulted in black union construction workers making 36 percent more and Latino workers 52 percent more than the nonunion construction worker. Our community driven construction skills pre-apprentice program is over 85 percent minority and 84 percent of apprentices graduate from training programs paid for by BTEA contractors.”

“As the largest workforce development association in the country, we know that access to local talent will open job opportunities that will allow working people to fulfill their potential and families to thrive,” said Gregory J Morris, CEO, New York City Employment and Training Coalition. “We stand firmly in support of the Adams administration’s commitment to community hiring legislation that levels the playing field so that no neighborhood is left out of the post-pandemic recovery. We will continue to be relentless in our shared efforts to advance and champion the intersection of workforce development and economic development, so that every New Yorker has a pathway to stability and financial independence.”

“Construction in New York City has the power to uplift local workers and help them secure entry into the unionized building trades,” said Michael Prohaska, business manager, Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York and Laborers Local 79. “While local hiring is already happening on some projects, there are far more opportunities where targeted community hiring can be used to offer unionized career opportunities to New Yorkers that have historically been unable to access them. The laborers union is proud to support passing New York City community hiring legislation and to continue working with Mayor Adams and our elected leaders in Albany to make this life changing economic justice policy a reality.”

“It is clear that we need to take action to ensure that public spending creates opportunities for the city’s low-income communities,” said Candis Tolliver, executive vice president, SEIU 32BJ. “Economically vulnerable New Yorkers deserve the chance to earn family-sustaining wages, affordable family health care, and all of the other vital benefits that are available through building service jobs that are created by city contracts. We urge the state legislature to pass this vital legislation without further delay.”


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