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State lawmakers move to ban cities from hiring quotas for construction projects
Akron hoped to ensure a third or more of the workers on its massive sewer project were residents; contractors balked and went to the Statehouse
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Hundreds of Akron residents turned out for the city's offer of apprenticeships and training to get jobs on the city's massive sewer project. But state lawmakers are moving to ban local hiring requirements.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
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State lawmakers could vote this month on a bill that would forbid cities from requiring contractors to hire a certain percentage of residents to work on their public construction projects. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on a bill that arose after Akron tried to ensure its residents were trained and hired to work on its massive sewer project.

LISTEN: A ban on local hiring requirements

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Supporters of a ban on local hiring quotas say they reduce the number of companies that bid on projects, that they give an advantage to out-of-state companies, and that they drive up the costs of projects. Democratic Rep. Emilia Sykes of Akron has been fighting this bill.

“I don’t think that argument stands up when you start looking at communities across the state that have been very strategic and smart about making sure they can meet these local hiring requirements and be on budget or under budget.”

Democrats have tried to amend the Republican-backed bill to allow for some residency requirements. But the one exception adopted is for ODOT to be able to comply with state and federal job training rules.

 
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