D.C. local worker requirement not being met

Government doing little to verify self-reported project data.

July 11, 2018 |
Washington D.C. row houses

A recent audit of Washington, D.C.’s First Source mandate that requires local workers be given employment preference on construction projects funded with tax dollars shows that the requirement is not being met.

According to a report in the Washington Times, contractors and developers are not meeting program guidelines, and that the Department of Employment Services (DOES) is not making sure that companies are in compliance. Companies constructing projects of $300,000 to $5 million are required to hire 51% local residents.

On projects valued at more than $5 million, contractors must meet a higher percentage of local workers in multiple categories. Construction industry groups say the program paperwork is too burdensome. They also contend there is a shortage of skilled workers within the District.

Lack of affordable housing is forcing the First Source-qualified employees that once lived in D.C. to move to the suburbs, contractors say.

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