Employment Task Force Letter on Workforce Equity in Infrastructure Package
July 27, 2021
On behalf of the Employment Task Force of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to urge you to include provisions within the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that would help ensure the creation of quality jobs and promote greater equity in the infrastructure workforce.
We appreciate the work that Congress is doing to create a bipartisan bill that can both strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and create good jobs. Especially now, as many working people continue to rebuild lives interrupted by the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19, we must ensure that jobs financed by the American people through this infrastructure package promote an equitable economic recovery that meets the needs of all working people in our nation, including those hardest-hit by the pandemic. To that end, we urge you to include provisions within the infrastructure package to:
- Encourage local and targeted hiring on federally funded infrastructure projects. States and cities must have the ability to ensure that local residents — especially those from communities of color and other communities that have experienced economic marginalization — are included in hiring for the jobs created through the infrastructure bill. Local and targeted hiring can directly benefit communities struggling with high unemployment, strengthen local economies, and encourage businesses to expand their hiring networks, creating opportunities for those previously excluded.
- Require project-wide numeric participation goals for the percentage of total work hours performed by women and people of color as well as public reporting on the participation goals and actual hours worked.
- Increase apprenticeship training opportunities by requiring that a minimum of 15 percent of total project labor hours be performed by qualified apprentices and that efforts be made to employ qualified apprentices from traditionally underrepresented populations, including women and individuals from communities of color.
- Provide supportive services, like child care and pre-apprenticeship programs, that maximize opportunities for women and people of color.
As we strengthen our nation’s infrastructure, we must also ensure that we build meaningful opportunities for us all to have better lives. Recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining a diverse workforce that is fairly compensated with competitive wages and benefits is key to ensuring an economic recovery that leaves no one behind. We urge you to include specific provisions in the infrastructure bill to ensure the creation of good jobs and a more diverse and equitable infrastructure workforce. If you have questions, please contact Gaylynn Burroughs, senior policy counsel at The Leadership Conference, at [email protected], or The Leadership Conference Employment Task Force co-chairs, Judy Conti at [email protected] and Yona Rozen at [email protected].
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Managing Director and Interim Executive Vice President for Government Affairs