The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, represents a historic opportunity to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, fight the climate crisis, and create good jobs for workers in every part of the country. As the Biden administration begins to distribute infrastructure funding to states and cities, elected officials and contracting agencies will play a key role in using this money to create good-paying jobs for their communities. But one federal regulation is standing in the way of local economic prosperity.
In April 2022, Representative Karen Bass, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Senator Tammy Duckworth led a letter signed by 73 of their Congressional colleagues in support of Jobs to Move America’s local hire campaign. The attached letter, sent to the Office of Management and Budget, advocates for updating federal regulations to allow cities and states to do local and targeted hiring on all federally-funded projects and to include other labor and equity standards in their procurement.
For more than 30 years, cities have been barred from leveraging our buying power to put local people to work on public projects. The regressive Reagan-era ban on local hire has hurt workers and stymied our economies. But last month, after unveiling a major infrastructure spending plan in March, the Department of Transportation announced the revival of a local hiring pilot program.