Rep. Karen Bass advances reform to federal local hire rules

This is important. In one sentence it means this: Metro can specifically target hiring workers who live near projects receiving federal funding.

Here’s the update from Metro CEO Phil Washington:

Last night, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-37) offered an amendment on the House floor to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 that would permit local hiring for transportation projects using federal funding. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. Metro is deeply appreciative to Congresswoman Karen Bass for her strong and sustained leadership in reforming federal local hire rules. Thanks to Congresswoman Bass and the ongoing efforts of our Board of Directors, Metro will be launching our first federally funded contract subject to a local hire program for the Southwestern Yard, which is a key component of the Crenshaw/LAX transit project. Metro’s Local Hire Program will provide construction career opportunities to residents of the project area and Los Angeles County, allowing those most affected by construction to share in the economic benefits of this investment of public dollars. Specifically, Metro’s Local Hire Program for the Southwestern Yard will have the following hiring goals; 40% community/local area workers; 20% apprentice workers; and 10% disadvantaged workers.

In September 2011, Metro’s Board of Directors adopted a policy position that added reforming federal local hire rules to its successful America Fast Forward initiative. At the same time, the Board adopted a first of its kind Project Labor Agreement, with Federal Transit Administration approval, that facilitated the implementation of a Construction Careers Policy with National Targeted Hiring goals based on economically disadvantaged areas throughout the Nation. In December 11, 2014, Congress adopted a Consolidated Appropriations Bill for Federal Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law No. 113 -235) that included language from H.R. 3620, The Local Hire Act, that was authored by Congresswoman Bass. On February 9, 2015, the Federal Transit Administration released its Federal Fiscal Year apportionments in the Federal Register outlining how it intended to allow geographic hiring preferences in construction contracts that are advertised or awarded in Federal Fiscal Year 2015, which ends on September 30, 2015. Additionally, in March 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a landmark Local Hire Pilot initiative. Please find below, the correspondence I shared with Congresswoman Bass this evening expressing Metro’s appreciation for efforts to reform federal local hire rules.

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