City Introduces New Local Hiring Policy

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans will introduce a local hiring and first source policy ordinance determined to link employment opportunities created by City contracts to local and disadvantaged workers. The local hiring policy, named Hire NOLA, is in line with Mayor Landrieu’s Economic Opportunity Strategy, which focuses on sector-specific job training for local job seekers and capacity building for small businesses.

         “Since launching the Economic Opportunity Strategy, we have made our goal clear —prepare and connect the people of New Orleans to jobs and our local businesses to strategic opportunities for growth,” said Mayor Landrieu. “There is no doubt, the local hiring policy will help to accomplish this goal. I commend and thank our partners in the City Council for making this a priority. Through this policy, we are helping to create pathways to prosperity for all New Orleans residents. As we continue our progress toward making New Orleans the city we have always dreamed she could be, we will not leave anyone behind.”

         Launched in September 2014, the Mayor’s Economic Opportunity Strategy connects disadvantaged job seekers and businesses to new opportunities. As part of the strategy, the Network for Economic Opportunity introduced the Hire NOLA policy ordinance.

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         “With this new local hiring policy, we will be able to hold contractors accountable to hiring local talent, in turn building capacity for our businesses and supporting the growth of our local industries,” said Ashleigh Gardere, Senior Advisor for Economic Opportunity and Executive Director of the Network for Economic Opportunity. “We have seen tremendous support from our partners, including private businesses, unions, and contractors associations who all see the value in supporting the people of New Orleans.”

         Councilmember James Gray said, “The City has made great strides in recent months in its efforts to create economic opportunity for all New Orleanians, particularly disadvantaged job seekers. Establishing and prioritizing local hiring through this new policy will ensure that we are making opportunities available for our local workforce. I am pleased to be championing this effort.”

         Hire NOLA, the proposed local hiring policy, will set forth a requirement for contractors to use the City as its first source for recruitment, referrals and placement of new hires on applicable contracts. It will also require contractors working on applicable projects to demonstrate good faith efforts to hire local and disadvantaged workers.

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         Applicable contracts include: 1) Any contract to which the City is a party for construction, alteration, or demolition of public buildings or public works of the City of New Orleans in excess of $150,000 and 2) Any Cooperative Endeavor Agreement to which the City is a party and through which the City provides tax incentives for economic development projects in excess of $150,000.

         The City will work with the City Council to pass an ordinance by October 2015. Implementation will begin in January 2016. Throughout the drafting process, the City has met with external stakeholders including the Industrial Development Board, local developers, Association of General Contractors, the New Orleans Business Alliance, Louisiana Workforce Commission, and community advocate groups: Stand with Dignity and the Collaborative —to present the proposed policy and garner feedback.

         The overall goal is to cause at least fifty percent of all work hours on City projects to be completed by local workers and thirty percent of those hours to be completed by disadvantaged local workers. Given the current state of the local workforce, the local hiring goals set in 2015 will increase annually by five percent, with full implementation in 2020.

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         The New Orleans City Council is scheduled to discuss this new policy proposal during its next Economic Development Committee meeting.




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