Local Employment Program
REDI worked together with its active allies and supporters to develop and implement a stronger Local Employment Program (LEP). The City’s LEP requires that Richmond residents be given preference for employment on City-funded economic development projects. When we discovered that the LEP was due to expire on October 31, 2004, we organized to get the City Council to extend the LEP. The coalition’s work paid off when in July 2006, the Richmond City Council approved a proposal that strengthened and expanded the City’s LEP. The coalition will continue to advocate for full implementation and reporting on the program’s progress.
Key LEP Policy Components
Central components and key revisions of the policy include:
• Expanded to cover businesses that receive economic development subsidies and contracts from the City;
• Expanded to cover operational jobs in addition to construction jobs;
• Increased the local hiring requirement from 20% to 30% for most job types;
• Strengthening of enforcement and implementation procedures;
• Allocation of funds for staff monitoring of the policy.
The revised policy won the support of a broad coalition of community, religious and labor organizations including Richmond Vision 2000, Contra Costa Faith Works!, the Contra Costa Labor Council and Building Trades Council, Urban Habitat and the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy.
For more information on demographic and economic conditions impacting Richmond residents, please read the “Growing with Purpose: Resident, Jobs, and Equity in Richmond, California (4.21MB) ,” report prepared by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) for REDI.
Our goal was to develop and implement a stronger LEP based on the following principles:
- All employers and businesses receiving direct or indirect subsidies valued at $100,000 or greater from the City of Richmond or its Redevelopment Agency should be required to participate in the Local Employment Program.
- The Local Employment Program must cover both construction and operational jobs.
- The City should promote voluntary participation in the Local Employment Program through effective integration of pre-employment training and referral services. Some cities have achieved a high rate of voluntary participation in their local hiring programs due to efficient and reliable referral services.
- The Council’s adoption of a one-third local hire set-aside for the Point Molate casino project suggests that the LEP’s current set-aside of 20% may be too low for some projects. The LEP policy should explicitly empower the city to seek higher set-asides for certain projects offering greater local hiring opportunities.
- The LEP policy should be written in a way that is specific enough to be enforceable. Compliance with the LEP should be measurable, and non-compliance should have clear consequences. Common local hiring terminology, such as “good faith effort,” “reasonable effort,” and “where practical,” should be defined to achieve the strongest possible enforceability and best local hiring outcomes.
- The LEP should contain legal language ensuring that all employers on a covered project, including developers, tenants, contractors, and subcontractors, will comply with the policy.
- The LEP must have strong and effective monitoring and enforcement components to ensure that all elements are implemented equally and fairly. The City should identify funding and staff resources for monitoring and enforcement of the LEP program. Monitoring and enforcement should be conducted by the city’s Employment and Training Department. Funds from the Point Molate agreement should be allocated in part to monitoring and enforcement of local employment commitments.
- Many Richmond residents most in need of employment opportunities face significant barriers to employment that would not be addressed by local hire set-asides alone. The LEP should support employment for Richmond residents by coordinating with existing job readiness, referral, and job support services provided by the city, WIB, and nonprofit, faith-based, and for-profit agencies. As these programs are quite resource-intensive, the city should identify funding sources for such activities.
|Growing With Purpose Report.pdf||4.21 MB|