We at Construction Workforce Project firmly believe that longtime Brooklynites should benefit from the rapid pace of development, which can only truly happen if construction job opportunities are made available to local residents.
A recently announced diversity initiative by the Associated General Contractors of America is an encouraging step forward. However, open shop workers in New York City need much more support from our elected officials in order to achieve real gains for men and women of color in our industry.
Amsterdam News: It is not progressive for the state legislature to exclude Black and Brown workers from legislative initiatives
We must not confuse sensible efforts to improve the construction industry with mandates that would exclude locally based workers of color and MWBE contractors from some of the city’s biggest projects.
Amongst the most common complaints of minority workers’ is their lack of recognition by influential union leaders.
We believe that when new buildings go up in the Bronx, a significant number of the construction jobs should go to local residents – not just to workers from outside the city.
While traditional union models of hiring continue to present barriers to entry for minority workers, merit shop (also known as open shop) offers an inclusive hiring model, giving a chance to anyone willing to work hard.
New York’s diverse communities of color have long lacked access to equal employment opportunities, but New York City’s building boom presents ample opportunity for all New Yorkers to gain access to meaningful education/training and employment.
We urge you to recognize the reality of today’s diverse construction industry and broaden your focus by providing more resources to train, employ and protect New Yorkers of color, regardless of whether or not they are part of a union.
Open shop is now the dominant force in New York City’s construction industry and is opening doors for men and women from local communities.
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has extended the deadline by which many of the city’s construction workers will need to have at least 30 hours of safety training, and by which construction supervisors will need 62 hours of training.