Should Seattle Mandate That Construction Companies Hire Locally?

Comments

1
Damned suburbanites keep taking our jobs and parking, and then whine about our policies ...

Just toll I-5.
2
Ah yes, set up a patronage machine. Welcome to Chicago
3
Get a handful of bids and offer the job to the best, period. Let's not encourage the Silas Potters of the town.
4
it's a fucking retarded idea. you want the best people for the job...if they're local, that's even better, but if you mandate hiring locals workers i guarangoddamtee you get shitty workers and higher bids (just look at the state ferry system.)
5
YES
6
I'm going to go with "no". I don't think these kind of programs tend to work out. What will happen is someone will be paid to set up a shell company in Seattle that passes bids through to the various construction companies outside the city. Now, we pay a profit to the shell company and to the companies it is proxying for.
7
Better check the terms of NAFTA.
8
might be a nice notion; but it'ain't legal. it's already been tried with (seattle) police officers and the judge said 'nay'.
9
Got Green is a great organization with fantastic community organizers. I wish them the best on their campaign!
10
Oh for God's sake! Where do you people get these ideas?? "Social Justice?" WTF?

If Seattle tried to hire only people from, say, Rainier Beach to do construction projects:

A. The project would never get done because MF'rs wouldn't show up for work, or...

B. The project would never get done because there is no such thing as an engineer who lives in the Rainier Beach neighborhood to hire.

Now if Seattle wanted to build crack houses...
11
This seems like a remarkably stupid idea. I agree that the Rainier Valley could probably use some help on jobs and business development, but let's just do that instead of imposing silly requirements on contractors.
12
I know next to nothing about construction, but I think those are skilled jobs. You can't just hire anybody to do it. Let's say you're a construction company with your own crew, would you now be blocked from Seattle jobs because your crew doesn't hail from whatever neighborhood you're working in?
13
Most "Seattle construction" like the tunnel and other infrastructure is funded by the state and federal taxpayer.

So no.
14
I am working on the design of project in Wyoming with this kind of requirement and I can tell you that it is ineffective and misguided. This is a bad idea and unnecessary. I understand where Wyoming is coming from; many of their construction projects bring workers from out of state (because local skilled labor is not available). The law doesn't work though, because the skills are still not available locally. And in Seattle we're not talking about workers from Idaho or Oregon, we're talking about people from Fife and Snohomish. That's not local enough? Gimme a break.
15
Local or fluent in Spanish. That would work. We are the worldly number 2 country for Spanish speakers. We should push for number 1.
16
This is a classic example of one of those "looks good on paper" ideas. If you wanted to make a real difference, make it a lot easier for disadvantaged kids to get into apprentice programs and the trades.

But of course, that would require a commitment to adequately pay for the education of our citizens and it costs a whole lot less to make ourselves feel better by setting aside a handful of unskilled shovel operator jobs.
17
Okay, time for a little background here.

The city built a new community center for Rainier Beach. The reason was to benefit the community. Many construction workers live in Rainier Beach, skilled and experienced construction workers. What these people, and the Rainier Beach community, most needed was jobs. That would have provided the most benefit to the community.

When the light rail was built it was the same thing - lots of skilled locals, almost no local hires, mostly folks holding signs.

What Got Green wants to do is reward contractors who hire locally, up to a certain percentage. The goal is getting some local hires.

Most of the comments posted are biased and show a profound lack of knowledge of the history and the vision.
18
Dan B, do you want to "reward" or do you want to "mandate"? That's the key difference.
19
Westside;

Come to the forum and find out. Or check out Got Green's website.
20
So, they get one job for a few months sweeping the floors. How does that help them in the long run?

You MUST have actual skills to get hired and maintain a job. Nobody should be owed a job because they live in a certain area. This is a subtle form of communism. Nice try.
21
@20: Taxpayer money pays for these construction projects. The taxpayers therefore have the right to stipulate that the money be spent locally, as a condition of the contract. Dumbass.
22
or the taxpayers have the right to demand that the best people for the job do the job.
23
The point being, there are qualified/skilled/trained workers from the neighborhoods that are being impacted, but they are NOT being hired because it costs the contractors less to ship people in from out of state to do the work. Is that fair?
24
I think a better idea would be a requirement that contractors state the number of local hires they will commit to along with their bid, and that number should be a factor in determining the winning bid, even if it means paying a reasonable premium for the project.