Sykes: Local Hiring Ban Axes Local Control, Sends Ohio Jobs Out Of State
Legislation will give out-of-state contractors edge on public works projects
 
 

State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) 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. 


“Facing a $1.4 billion unfunded mandate by the federal government to fix the sewer system, the City of Akron found a creative way to put its people back to work. The City of Akron instituted local hiring requirements so that people who are footing the bill for this project can reap the economic benefits,” said Sykes. “People want an opportunity to access the economic benefits from construction and other projects that are happening in their neighborhoods. There is no reason why local people should be excluded from job opportunities right in their own backyards.” 


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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