Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown
Should DC residents get first chance at DC jobs? For the past few months, a crew of 12-15 people has been working on major water/sewer jobs in Columbia Heights. I don’t know that they aren’t DC residents, but all the vehicles they arrive in each day have Maryland plates, they all speak exclusively Spanish, and there are no African Americans at all.
I know DC used to have some rules about hiring some percentage of locals – but haven’t found anything recent about how contracts like this are awarded. A few of the jobs are certainly skilled/technical – (operating equipment etc.) – but most are simply labor – (digging, shoveling etc.) and one or two (holding signs for traffic) require no skills or training at all.
They are all super hard-working people, (worked steadily through our 2 weeks of Arctic cold!) and I don’t begrudge them these jobs. But shouldn’t public works projects, paid for with DC tax dollars, have at least some of the jobs going to DC residents?“