SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND REVEAL: WITH CNY IN MIND, SENATORS SECURE LOCAL HIRE PROVISION IN BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL; SENATORS PUSHED FOR ONCE-IN-A-GENERATION FEDERAL INVESTMENT INTO AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE TO INCLUDE SUPPORT FOR LOCAL WORKERS & BUSINESSES TO CREATE GOOD-PAYING JOBS IN CENTRAL NEW YORK
As The Schumer-Led Infrastructure Deal Made Its Way Through The Senate, Senators Fought To Include Local Hire Programs, To Invest In Good-Paying Jobs For Local Residents & Businesses
Senators Say Historic Investment Into Infrastructure, Coupled With Local Hire Program Ensures Job Opportunities & Contracts On Federally-Funded Projects – Including I-81 In Syracuse – For Local Residents & Workers
Schumer, Gillibrand: CNY Dreams—and Jobs! — Can Now Become Reality
Following Senate passage of the Schumer-led bipartisan infrastructure deal, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the legislation passed yesterday included language to bolster local hire programs that would allow state and local governments to use targeted hiring programs to connect local workers and businesses – especially in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities – to construction jobs and contracts created by the once-in-a-generation federal investment into American infrastructure. This provision includes support for the federal government, states, localities, labor, and community organizations to work together to offer training through pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs to expand access to new job opportunities for local residents on construction projects funded by U.S. Department of Transportation programs.
“As Central New York rebuilds from the COVID pandemic and embarks on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform and revitalize Syracuse’s infrastructure, it is critical that the federal government allows state and local governments to invest in good-paying jobs with a focus on local residents, especially from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I fought so hard to include a local hire program while leading negotiations for the now-Senate passed bipartisan infrastructure deal. This program will enable New York State and localities to work with labor unions and community leaders to ensure job opportunities and contracts on federally funded transportation projects – including I-81’s transformation in Syracuse – are available for local residents.”
“This week, the Senate delivered one of the boldest infrastructure packages in our nation’s history that will bring record-breaking resources home to New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The future of infrastructure means connecting more New Yorkers to economic opportunity and putting underserved communities first, which is why I fought hard to ensure my Build Local, Hire Local Act was included in this package. This legislation was inspired by the legacy of I-81 right here in Syracuse and was written to undo injustices caused by decades of disinvestment and exclusionary federal policies. This new local hire program establishes requirements for hiring workers to ensure that local residents in Central New York will benefit directly from new infrastructure projects in their community.”
The transformation of I-81 and other major transportation projects in Central New York will benefit from several programs included in the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, including $11.5 billion for New York in new highway funding on top of the state’s annual funding allocation, $7.5 billion in new funding for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, formerly known as BUILD and TIGER. The bipartisan infrastructure deal also created the Reconnecting Communities program, a first of its kind program dedicated to helping advance projects like transforming Syracuse’s I-81 into a community grid.
Schumer and Gillibrand have been vocal advocates of the need for local hire and other targeted hiring programs as part of federally-funded construction. The senators recently visited the I-81 in Syracuse with Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg where they pushed to make permanent an expansion of the local hire pilot program in this bipartisan infrastructure deal. In March, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) heeded the senators’ calls to implement a temporary local hire pilot program for highway projects.
The senators explained that on March 31st, the Biden Administration unveiled the American Jobs Plan, which was a predecessor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, and called for ‘reimagining and rebuilding’ a new economy. The Plan included a direct mention of Syracuse’s I-81 as one example of a project that would aim to reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and increase opportunity, including through the use of local hire jobs programs and initiatives to advance racial equity and environmental justice.
Schumer and Gillibrand led the introduction of the Reconnecting Communities Act in April. Local hire and federal resources to rebuild local communities were also central provisions of the Economic Justice Act, legislation that Schumer and Gillibrand introduced last year to invest more than $435 billion to address systemic racism and underinvestment in communities of color. Additionally, Senator Gillibrand introduced in 2021 the Build Local, Hire Local Act, legislation that makes bold reforms to federal infrastructure programs, creates good-paying jobs, and works to right the wrongs of decades of disinvestment and exclusionary federal policies that have cut off communities of color and marginalized populations from opportunity in urban and rural areas alike.