Surprised because on March 8, 2011 -- I introduced a council item (which I asked Councilman Patrick O'Donnell to co sponsor) that stated the following:
Subject: AGENDA ITEM: Request for Federal Wavier of Local Hiring Restrictions
Mandated by the Federal Highway Administration
At 14%, the City of Long Beach currently faces one of the highest rates of
unemployment in the state (if not in the U.S.). The need to create jobs is critical in order to put our residents back to work.
To increase the number of Local jobs, the City Council and the Harbor Commissioners
have approved the case of project labor agreements ("PLA") which contains among
other provisions, a requirement that a certain percentage of the hiring be of Long Beach
Unfortunately, Federal Highway Administration regulations prohibited local hiring
preferences. This prohibition needs to be waived, especially in cities such as Long
Beach, so that a local construction project can be staffed with unemployed residents
who live in the city in which the project is being constructed.
Request the City Manager to contact the Federal Highway Administration to
determine how the City and the Port can be given a waiver and allowed to set
sufficient local hiring preferences for major construction projects.
As you can see in the video below, the item passed 9-0.
So today, I read:
So thank you Mayor Villaraigosa for taking a good idea from the City of Long Beach to Washington, D.C. and doing something with it...I'm still waiting here for Long Beach to do the same.Reporting from Washington—In an effort to bring down the stubbornly high unemployment rate, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is lobbying Washington officials to give local workers an advantage in winning some of the more than 166,000 jobs expected from transportation projects planned for the region.
Federal rules prohibit local hiring preferences on federally funded transportation projects, under the premise that all U.S. taxpayers help to pay for the work and should have an equal shot at getting the jobs. The rule also stems from concern that making local hiring a factor in awarding contracts will increase the cost of projects.
But with Washington jittery about unemployment heading into an election year, the mayor has received a positive signal from the administration. Hovering at 12%, California's unemployment rate is the second highest in the nation, behind Nevada's.