Trump admin cancels local hiring plan for public works projects

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The Trump administration is abandoning an Obama-era plan to ensure local hiring for public works projects, according to a new report.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the Department of Transportation will withdraw the plan, which was proposed in 2015 and was supposed to take effect Friday. The initiative would have allowed cities to ensure local residents get to work on federally funded public works projects.

The move appears to be part of the White House’s ongoing push to slash federal regulations.


The Transportation Department emphasized, however, that a final decision has not been officially made.

“The prior Administration’s proposed rule and proposed long term extensions of pilot programs is under review, and DOT will make an announcement after a final decision is reached,” a spokeswoman said.

A pilot program has already been underway to allow local hiring for projects on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of studying its impact. The Times noted that the fate of that program is now in doubt as well.

The idea of preferential hiring has long been contentious. Some critics of the idea argue that it adds extra costs to a project and can make bidding for contracts unfair.

But supporters of hiring from within the neighborhood say it provides a new way for residents to access well-paying jobs.

“By terminating the Local Labor Hiring Pilot Program, Trump will disproportionately hurt low-income and minority communities, denying them access to the good jobs they need to make our country and communities strong, and significantly reducing the local benefits that any infrastructure investment would provide,” said Tate Hausman, co-director of the Millions of Jobs coalition.

–This story was updated at 4:40 p.m.


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