UPDATE: includes ordinance language. East End City Councilman Ernie Newton says he’s finalizing language with the City Attorney’s Office to formulate an ordinance requiring developers seeking City Council approval on projects to make Bridgeporters 25 percent of the work force. What started initially as a resolution will be submitted as an ordinance. Unclear what force of law this would have but Newton declares “All we do now is take the word of people who come before us. Now we are holding them accountable that at least 25 percent are Bridgeport residents.”
The Ordinance Committee is scheduled to take up this proposal Thursday, 6 p.m. in Wheeler Room A of City Hall. Newton says a public hearing will be scheduled. If the proposed ordinance is passed it will be monitored by the Office of Contract Compliance.
“All we’re are saying is hire Bridgeport first,” adds Newton. “When developers come in there’s no way of monitoring who they hired. This ordinance says hire 25 percent Bridgeport residents and 5 percent ex felons. It allows us to know they are hiring people from Bridgeport. It will build a true middle class group of people.”
Moving forward Newton said the ordinance would be applied to a developer seeking, for instance, council approval on a land disposition agreement with the city.
Newton, who’s made a political comeback following his conviction on public corruption charges while a state legislator 15 years ago, helps transition former offenders to the work force for Bridgeport-based Career Resources, the workforce development organization.
Ordinance Committee agenda here.
3.29 – Employment Opportunities with Developers Fostering Economic Development
For purposes of this Title 3. “Developers Fostering Economic Development” means those developers engaging in projects within the municipal boundaries of the city for which said developer has (1)(a) obtained any city incentive or inducement for said development under Chapters 3.20. 3.24. and/or 3.28 of this Code. and/or (1 )(b) has or will acquire city owned real property as part of the project for less fifty (50%) percent of its fair market value as listed in the city’s tax assessor’s office at the time of acquisition. and (2) for which project developer has indicated that said project will result in an increase in jobs, either as to the developer’s own work force, or those of the second tier on the project.
3.29.010 – Contract Provisions
A. All municipal contracting agencies shall include in every agreement hereafter entered into with a Developer Fostering Economic Development, except for those exempted in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.12.060. the following provisions:
“The developer agrees and warrants that during the development of this project pursuant to the terms of this agreement, that first consideration of any additional employment of tradesmen/tradeswomen and/or any apprentices to be working on this project will be given to qualified applicants who are residents of the city and/or who are ex-felons of any category to the maximum greatest extent that any increase in workforce or apprenticeships as a result of this project meets the minimum requirements of twenty (20%) percent local resident hires and five (5%) percent ex-felon hires. The hiring or apprenticeship of an individual who is both a
local resident and an ex-felon shall only count as either of one such hire. The developer warrants and represents that it will not replace any of its current workforce as a result of this requirement. ”
B. The developer shall include the language set forth above in section A. in every trades subcontract to the project. The developer shall post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices encouraging local residents and ex- felons to apply. The developer will send to each labor union or other representative with which he has a collective bargaining agreement or other contract or understanding, a notice to be provided advising the labor union or workers’ representative of the developer’s commitments under this division. and shall post copies of such notice in conspicuous places available to employees and applicants for employment.
c. The developer will provide the office of contract compliance [deleted Compliance Committee]established under Municipal Code Sec. 3.12.130 with such information requested by said office [deleted or Committee] concerning the employment pattern, practices and procedures of the developer as relate to the provisions of subsections A and B of this section and any rules and regulations and/or orders issued pursuant thereto.
D. Prior to seeking a building permit for the project.developer shall meet with the office of contract compliance with paperwork sufficient to establish developer’s satisfaction of this requirement. or documentation sufficient to the office of contract compliance for said office to issue a waiver of this requirement for good cause shown.