Urban League President: Re-Implement DOT's Local Hire Program






NEW YORK (September 19, 2017) – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial has urged Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to reconsider the termination of the DOT’s Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal Awards program.

“Local hire initiatives are among the most effective strategies to help create living wage jobs in underserved areas, where they are needed the most,” Morial wrote in a letter to Chao. “We strongly urge the Administration and DOT to reinstate the federal local hire program to live up to their basic responsibilities to working class people and Americans nationwide.”

Local hire policies and programs allow cities benefitting from public works projects the opportunity to provide local residents family-sustaining jobs and the ability to contribute to their local communities and economies.

“Setting aside good paying jobs for local residents is a fair exchange for the benefits contractors receive for winning a bid on a project,” Morial wrote. “In exchange for profiting from building new construction with government funds, the contractor has a duty to ensure disadvantaged people benefit from the jobs that are created in their neighborhoods. “

Contractors who are not willing to adhere to local hire provisions need not apply or bid on a project, Morial said.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization best known for helping low-to-moderate income families, working-class people and communities of color find and keep good-paying jobs.

“We have firsthand experience with the success of local hire provisions and community benefit agreements that help to employ and ensure a living wage for the most vulnerable populations,” Morial wrote.

Morial suggested that the termination of the program was based on “partisan pushing” and not measureable outcomes.

“Local hire policies and programs create living wage jobs in underserved communities,” he wrote. “The National Urban League and Policy Link strongly urge you to re-implement DOT’s local hire program without delay.”