$1T Infrastructure Bill Strengthens Local Hiring Rules for Projects like I-81 in Syracuse

Posted on August 17, 2021


Syracuse, N.Y. – The $1 trillion infrastructure bill making its way through Congress contains a key provision that will ensure local residents will get some of the jobs needed to tear down Interstate 81, according to New York’s senators.

The bill, which passed the Senate last week, will make permanent a provision that allows governments to require contractors to staff transportation projects with a certain amount of local workers, according to staff from Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand offices.

“This program will enable New York state and localities to work with labor unions and community leaders to ensure job opportunities and contracts on federally funded transportation projects, including I-81′s transformation in Syracuse, are available for local residents,” Schumer said in a statement.

New York has already put $1 million into job training in anticipation of the workers that will be needed. Two people were hired this summer to coordinate that effort. A paid job training program started this summer with 20 slots. Four hundred people applied, city officials said.

“While this is a huge transportation project and huge investment in this community, it can really be transformative on a number of levels,” said Kevin Schwab of CenterState CEO, the business advocacy group that is conducting the paid job training program.

Not only will removing I-81 change the area’s traffic patterns and skyline. That massive investment can expand local businesses and create new careers for many, including people who don’t always get government construction jobs.

“They can be part of rebuilding this future of Syracuse,” he said. “It only increases the long-term impact and value of a project like this.”

Read the full article on syracuse.com, here.

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