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Mayor Seeks To Require City Contractors To Hire Neighborhood Workers

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(John Moore/ Getty Images)

(John Moore/ Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance to require contractors hire neighborhood residents for many construction projects funded by the city.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the measure would require any city-funded construction contract valued at more than $100,000 include provisions for hiring nearby residents for at least 7.5 percent of all the hours worked.

“Building our roads, building our water system, our airports, our parks, our schools, our community colleges; I wanted to make sure that not only those investments were throughout the city so every part of the city was growing by making those investments, but also that residents throughout the city could participate,” he said.

The mandate would not apply to federally-funded projects like the reconstruction of the Dan Ryan leg of the CTA Red Line, but Emanuel pointed out special efforts have been made to hire South Side residents for that job.

The city already requires Chicago residents work at least half the hours on its projects. This ordinance would make sure a portion of the Chicago residents working on any city construction job live nearby, not just in the city.

Any contractor that fails to meet the requirement, and does not demonstrate a good faith effort to do so, could be assessed monetary damages.

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