Patterson: 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
 
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State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) 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.  


“At a time when our state economy is still sluggish, it is wrong to give out of state workers employment opportunities over similarly qualified Ohio residents,” said Patterson. “It’s simple: local workers employed in local jobs stimulate the local economy.” 


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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