Thursday, August 13, 2020



Using the City’s purchasing power, Community Hiring will address economic disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 by connecting low-income New Yorkers and those in economically disadvantaged communities to good jobs and apprenticeship opportunities

  Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the Community Hiring economic justice plan, which includes new Project Labor Agreements with the building trades unions and a push for legislation in Albany to drive economic recovery in economically disadvantaged communities by utilizing the City’s purchasing power to connect New Yorkers to good jobs. This plan would provide an estimated 1,300 construction jobs for every $1 billion in construction for low-income communities leading to an estimated $1 billion in wages and benefits for target communities during the first full year of the program.


“During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we’re taking action to connect low-income New Yorkers to good jobs and even better futures,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’ll use the City’s purchasing power to address hiring disparities, expand opportunities and invest in our communities of color.  Working together, we can build a fair and equitable future for all New Yorkers.”


“As New York City recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, it is essential to address the inequities exposed by the pandemic, especially in communities deeply affected by structural racism.” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "Our administration’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity, which I co-chair, has taken actions that are already bringing tangible relief to these communities. We feel the urgency of this moment and praise this new collaboration. It is an important, necessary and significant step to creating more pathways to training, employment and economic opportunity.”


“In the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, our City is bringing economic opportunity to working people through our new labor agreement,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Taskforce. “But now we need the State of New York to act by passing Community Hiring legislation that would require contractors and businesses working with the City to hire New Yorkers from high poverty neighborhoods. Together with our partners in the State, we can show that City dollars can do more than get work done, it can help lift people out of poverty.”


“This is a truly historic and transformative moment for our city. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, New York City is committing its resources to an unprecedented and unparalleled investment in job creation, workforce development, and community hiring,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “For years, New York’s union building trades have prioritized expanding access, equity, and opportunity in neighborhoods across the city. We look forward to building on that commitment and working directly with the administration to ensure that all New Yorkers -- especially those in underserved communities -- have access not only to our exceptional union apprenticeship and direct-entry programs, but also to the tens of thousands of middle-class careers that this agreement will create. Only through investing in our city’s greatest asset, our working men and women, will we fuel New York’s economic recovery.”


“We're all aware how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted our minority communities and businesses,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “This new initiative will ensure that MWBEs and New Yorkers in our hardest hit communities have the opportunity to immediately connect to good jobs, in addition to gaining the valuable skills needed to ensure future opportunities. We will continue to fight for these groups to create a fairer city for all.”


The Project Labor Agreement


The City and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York (BCTC) have negotiated new terms for the Citywide Renovation Project Labor Agreement, which covers renovation construction work on City-owned buildings, and a New Construction Project Labor Agreement which will cover selected future projects.  The Citywide Renovation PLA will serve as a template for other City PLAs. The PLA will create consistent work rules across construction projects, reduce administrative burden on construction agencies, and connect working people in neighborhoods across the city to union apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. 


As part of the agreement:

·         Unions will prioritize the referral of workers from zip codes where at least 15% of the population lives below the federal poverty level and/or are NYCHA residents, aiming to reach an overall goal that at least 30 percent of all hours worked under PLA projects are logged by workers from these zip codes.

·         Unions will provide contractors with apprentices on City construction projects up to the maximum number allowed by the New York State Department of Labor when contractors request apprentices. An apprenticeship Memorandum of Understanding establishes, for the first time, specific annual goals for the number of slots provided for both apprentices and pre-apprentices for residents of disadvantaged communities and NYCHA housing.

·         This PLA increases opportunities and adds flexibility for MWBEs, allowing their workforce to gain valuable experience on city projects and build their companies, while continuing to source from within communities.

“The economic impacts of COVID-19 will be felt citywide long after a vaccine is widely available, but steps like this announcement of the new community hiring economic justice plan are exactly what we need to ensure people can get back to work. The Building Congress is proud to be a partner in this effort as the building industry is a leading economic driver in helping low-income New Yorkers reach middle-class stability to support their families. I applaud the Mayor and Building and Construction Trades Council and its President Gary LaBarbera for coming to this agreement on the new PLAs.  Today’s announcement will be felt immediately by those who have been most heavily impacted financially by the pandemic,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq, President & CEO, New York Building Congress.


“Thanks to the leadership of Mayor de Blasio and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, thousands of more New Yorkers will now have access to careers in the union building trades,” said Nicole Bertrán, Executive Vice President of The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills, Inc. “Creating pathways to the middle-class for underserved communities has remained a priority of Construction Skills, and we look forward to working with the City and the NYC Building Trades to connect residents from all five boroughs to our pre-apprenticeship programs, as we continue to build opportunity in neighborhoods across the city.”


“Now more than ever, it is crucial we renew our efforts to creating economic opportunity for the most vulnerable communities as we build back New York City,” said Kathleen Culhane, President of Nontraditional Employment for Women. “We’re grateful for the efforts of Mayor de Blasio and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York in pioneering this historic commitment that invests in New York’s working people, and we look forward to working with the NYC Building Trades and our Direct Entry partners to make this commitment a success.”


“Helmets to Hardhats has proudly connected New York’s military veterans, reservists and men and women of the National Guard to middle-class careers in the union building trades,” said Anne Trenkle, New York State Director of Helmets to Hardhats. “As a direct result of Mayor de Blasio and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York’s transformative agreement reached today, New York’s military community will benefit from enhanced investment in apprenticeship and Direct Entry programs and access to the tens of thousands of union construction jobs that will be created over the next four years.”


“The commitment made today will create opportunities for countless New Yorkers,” said Melissa Shetler, Executive Director of Pathways to Apprenticeship. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to investing in working people and to the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York’s continued leadership in creating opportunity and middle-class careers in our five boroughs, Pathways to Apprenticeship looks forward to working in partnership with the City, the NYC Building Trades, and our Direct Entry partners to ensure that underserved communities have access to New York’s exceptional union apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.”


Community Hiring Legislation


To ensure that the City can continue to prioritize its investments in hardest hit communities, the Mayor is proposing legislation in Albany that would require contractors and businesses working with the City to hire low-income New Yorkers and New Yorkers from high poverty communities.


Community Hiring legislation will:

 ·           Establish the Office of Community Hiring and Workforce Development: The office will establish a community hiring program to provide employment opportunities for low-income New Yorkers and New Yorkers who live in economically disadvantaged regions.

·           Expand access for economically disadvantaged communities: Expands access to middle-class construction and building service jobs by prioritizing people from these communities and NYCHA residents.

·           Authorize the City to require a minimum ratio of apprentices: Allows the City to require that entities use a minimum ratio of apprentices when performing work on procurement contracts and expands entry-level jobs as a result. 

·           Enable the City to connect contractors with workforce development programs that will help them meet their hiring goals by referring qualified talent: Such workforce development programs could potentially include ones that typically serve NYCHA residents, veterans, people with disabilities, justice-involved individuals, cash assistance recipients, immigrants, and NYCDOE and CUNY graduates.

·           Authorize emergency rulemaking: Will enable low-income communities to see an immediate impact from the dollars the City is spending in FY21 for COVID response and recovery.

·           Authorize other city-affiliated entities, including Health + Hospitals, NYCDOE, NYC SCA, NYC EDC, Build NYC, and NYC IDA, to exercise such authorities, as well.


“Today more than ever, the City needs to use its economic power to create good jobs for New Yorkers from our lowest income communities.  Working with Gary LaBarbera and the building and construction trades unions we have shown how to put the City’s capital dollars to work both to build our City and to provide good jobs.   Community Hiring State legislation will open the door to providing opportunities across all of the City’s spending – from technology to building services to healthcare,” said Amy A. Peterson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.


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