City of Seattle
Using technology, the City of Seattle has been able to set and track priority hire goals to transform their city. Jeanne Fulcher, Labor Equity Analyst for the city was able to explain the impact being able to see real data and statistics has had. “Several years ago the community in the City of Seattle was saying they were looking at our projects and the workers did not look like the people actually living there.” Thanks to certified payroll reporting, the City was able to look at past data from their projects and realized that only 6% of the project hours were going to local workers. They acted quickly and developed a priority hire program. After just a little one a year the city has seen amazing results with “three times increase in local workers, three times more women and a huge increase in apprentice women and people of color raising to 33% women and 50% people of color.” Their priority hire program was developed with 4 goals:
- Address projected worker shortage (anticipated shortage of 4,630 construction workers in King county by 2020)
- Provide contractors with access to trained workforce
- Create a diverse construction workforce by adding more women and people of color
- Create economic growth in economically distressed areas
The city has been able to target economically distressed areas by requiring hires to comes from zip codes that have been identified as containing residents that are living 200% under the poverty level, have high unemployment, and do not have college degrees. They must also hire apprentices and graduates from pre-apprentice programs.