A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Local Labor Requirements on the Horizon

This is a “heads up” for those of you who track possible new restrictions on your construction projects. The Tennessean reports that the residents of Nashville will vote on August 6th for or against the requirement that 40% of all construction jobs on publicly funded projects be reserved for local workers in the Nashville area.

This law is modeled on the Cleveland model that has already been enacted and is currently being challenged in the courts. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has published a white paper on the enforceability of the “local” worker preference requirement that is informative, especially with so many transportation projects underway or in the pipeline.

With the current shortage of skilled craft workers in the major cities of the US, we wonder whether this movement might slow down an already slow construction industry recovery. On the other hand, we wonder whether the passage of this requirement might spur cities to take a closer look at how they attract new workers into the construction industry. That review process could be a positive for the industry if it leads to programs to attract new skilled craft workers.

Labor unions are strongly supporting the election, as are local religious and community organizations that see it as a way to employ more locals on public projects in their cities and states.

Watch for this one to show up in your space if the courts uphold its legality.