This press release issued by the City of Rochester

The Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans, and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh hosted a delegation of more than 40 state and local leaders for Local Hire Information Day in Rochester City Hall today to support Senator Gillibrand’s Build Local, Hire Local legislation to ensure public investment on capital projects such as Interstate-81 in Syracuse and the Inner Loop North in Rochester create jobs for local workers and create equity.

Mayor Walsh, Mayor Evans and Assemblymember Al Stirpe toured the Inner Loop in Rochester, where an urban highway was removed. (Photo credit: City of Rochester Bureau of Communications)

“As a long-time advocate for using local hiring practices and other targeted hiring programs on federally funded construction projects, I was proud to have key provisions from my Build Local, Hire Local Act included in last year’s infrastructure bill. Local officials and leaders gathered here today will be the key to building on this work at the community level,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am grateful to my staff for facilitating this event and bringing Mayor Walsh and Mayor Evans together to talk about the importance of local hiring and community wealth building in large-scale highway reconstruction projects. Now is the time to get to work rebuilding Syracuse’s I-81 and Rochester’s Inner Loop, which will uplift the surrounding communities in the process.”

“The initial construction of expressways like Interstate 81 and the Inner Loop tore through neighborhoods and devastated communities that were overwhelmingly Black and Brown,” said Mayor Evans. “Thankfully, Senator Gillibrand’s Build Local, Hire Local legislation gives us the tools we need to make sure the billions of dollars we are spending on highway projects across New York State advance the cause of equity through local employment. I am grateful to Senator Gillibrand, Mayor Walsh and all the partners who participated in the Local Hire Information Day for coming together and sharing lessons that will help us ensure that tool is put to its most effective use possible.”

“In Syracuse, Rochester and across the state, there are transformational projects happening in construction and infrastructure.  Interstate 81 and the Inner Loop can serve as the catalysts that bring communities together to ensure these projects create opportunities for all people, especially disadvantaged and underrepresented communities,” said Mayor Walsh.  “Syracuse’s success has been powered by collaboration, and I am honored to share our experience and to learn from our counterparts in Rochester.”

Senator Gillibrand played an instrumental role to ensure Build Local, Hire Local language was included in the federal $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. The landmark reforms allow the federal government, states, localities, labor, and community organizations to work together to offer training and targeted hiring programs that connect local workers — especially in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities that are often excluded from these opportunities — to construction jobs created by DOT-funded infrastructure projects.

Local Hire Information Day brought together more than three dozen elected leaders; municipal project managers, union representatives and workforce development specialists from Rochester and Syracuse to exchange lessons learned and identify new ways to support local labor and achieve equity as envisioned in Senator Gillibrand’s legislation.  A morning of workshops was followed by a bus tour of the Inner Loop East and Inner Loop North project sites.
Workshop topics included: establishing metrics for local-hiring initiatives; crafting labor agreements with unions; recruiting local workers for projects and workforce development and training.

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