Mayor Updates Jobs Policy in Response to Boston's Construction Boom

📅   Wed December 14, 2016 - Northeast Edition #25



Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced an increase in employment standards for the Boston Residents Jobs Policy (BRJP) and Boston Employment Commission (BEC) as part of an ongoing effort to create more employment opportunities for Boston residents, persons of color and women. The new standards address the need to create more inclusive employment opportunities during the third largest construction boom in Boston's history.

“The success of Boston's growing economy relies upon our ability to open the doors of opportunity to all our residents, and remove barriers causing economic inequity throughout our city,” said Walsh. “We must work to ensure that the construction industry reflects both the great talent and the great diversity Boston has to offer. By setting new goals for ourselves, we honor our commitment to creating a more prosperous, more inclusive city.”

Since its creation in 1983, the Boston Residents Jobs Policy has been the city of Boston's signature policy for ensuring resident employment on city sponsored, privately funded and federally mandated development projects within city limits.

The updated ordinance requires, for the first time, that Boston residents represent a majority on each of the covered construction projects and makes a bold statement about the changing nature of Boston's demographics.

The new employment standard increases the percentage of Boston residents and workers of color and women on each development site, and applies the same standards to apprentices.

The ordinance is as follows:

• At least 51 percent of the total employee work hours and 51 percent of the total apprentice work hours in each trade on a covered project shall be by Boston residents;

• At least 40 percent of the total employee work hours and 40 percent of the total apprentice work hours in each trade on a covered project shall be by people of color;

• At least 12 percent of the total employee work hours and 12 percent of the total apprentice work hours in each trade on a covered project shall be by women.

“The revised ordinance creates, from the Boston Jobs Coalition's perspective, a significantly stronger tool in our fight for equity for Boston workers of all races, workers of color and women in Boston's booming construction industry,” said Chuck Turner, former city councilor and consultant to the Boston Jobs Coalition. “It also strengthens our fight against this region's escalating income inequality. We thank Mayor Walsh for this significant step forward in our fight for economic justice.”

In an effort to streamline the compliance process, the BEC will now be responsible for compliance review of all covered projects, including those monitored by the Boston Planning and Development Agency, and the City Council will hold a hearing to review the work of the Boston Employment Commission twice per year.

The Mayor's Office of Economic Development worked together with community advocates and stakeholders in the construction industry in developing the revised ordinance that addresses the changing nature of Boston's demographics and the need to promote equity in a vital economic engine of Boston's growth.