Overthrowing Trump, Buttigieg Reinstates Local Recruitment Program – NBC10 Philadelphia


Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday reinstated an Obama-era pilot program that aims to help minority and disadvantaged people by securing local hiring for public works construction projects, overturning an administration decision Trump.

Buttigieg made the announcement after visiting the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, a decades-old span across the Anacostia River that is undergoing massive reconstruction. The bridge project was started under the local recruiting rules that Buttigieg brings back.

“We know it can work because it has worked here,” Buttigieg said. “This is a great example of the things we are talking about.”

The Department of Transportation’s four-year pilot initiative, originally launched by the Obama administration in 2015, will allow state and local agencies receiving federal funds for transit or highways to impose local preferences by hiring matters, such as those that favor veterans, minorities and low-income workers.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said imposing hiring preferences can “take a little longer up front” of a project. But it allows local governments to have some control over how infrastructure dollars flow through the community, she said.

The program was scrapped by President Donald Trump in 2017, reverting to rules set under President Ronald Reagan’s administration, which prohibited recruitment preferences based on geography.

But as President Joe Biden launched a $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan to create millions of jobs, a series of advocacy groups and Democratic senators have urged Buttigieg to roll out a new recruiting program. local, saying federally funded construction projects could provide means for locals. residents to access well-paying jobs and revitalize regional economies.

“As we invest in world-class infrastructure for Americans, we want to make sure that our investments create jobs for people in the communities where the projects are located,” Buttigieg said. “We are proud to launch the ministry’s local hiring initiative, with an additional focus on developing the workforce so that good jobs can become meaningful careers.

The effort will also focus on helping transit agencies implement “best practices” for hiring employees for high-tech projects, including electric buses and high-speed trains.

New York Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were among those supporting the program.

“As the nation rebuilds itself after the COVID pandemic and takes into account our long history of institutional racism, we must prioritize policies that rebuild our economy with an emphasis on racial equity, inclusion, investing in struggling communities and good jobs, ”Schumer and Gillibrand wrote to Buttigieg in February, asking for the program to be reinstated.

The Associated General Contractors of America opposes the program, arguing that it would increase construction costs or reduce competition in the tendering process.

The Department of Transportation’s pilot initiative would allow cities to test the impact of local hiring preferences on prices and competition. A more permanent change in local hiring for federally funded projects would force the department to come up with new regulations, but Buttigieg has not indicated whether he plans to take that step.


Yen reported from Austin, Texas.

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