Reece: Local Hiring Ban Axes Local Control, Sends Ohio Jobs Out Of State
Legislation will give out-of-state contractors edge on public works projects
June 30, 2015
[ Alicia Reece Home | Alicia Reece Press ]

State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) today expressed disappointment in the passage of House Bill 180, legislation that prohibits cities and other municipalities from setting minimum standards for hiring local residents for public works projects. The minimum residency standards, currently in place in cities and municipalities around the state, let qualified workers earn the opportunity to find rewarding employment in their own communities. 

“This bill is taxation without participation. Removing local hiring quotas allows for more out-of-state contractors to come over from Kentucky and Indiana and take away jobs from workers in Ohio,” said Reece. “I admit, I’m representing a special interest when it comes to this issue: the people of Ohio. We need to respect local control and empower local workers.” 

Our communities are struggling with unemployment rates far above the state average. Local workers deserve an opportunity to reap the economic benefits of the public construction projects that their tax dollars support.” 

Some Ohio communities use local hiring quotas on publicly financed projects as a way to strengthen local workforce participation and, in turn, strengthen local economies. For example, the City of Akron – in the early stages of a $1.4 billion sewer system upgrade project – currently has a local hiring target of 30 percent, with that goal increasing to 50 percent by 2018. 

Urban areas typically have higher unemployment rates than the national average, making the decision to hire local even more impactful for improving the job market in Ohio’s urban areas. Local hiring on public works projects offers a pathway to toward full workforce inclusion for all members of a community, including minority and at-risk populations.

The cities of Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Lima, Dayton, and Columbus, among others, all testified in opposition to the bill. 

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