Tennessee county considers local worker requirement on construction projects

A proposed amendment to the charter governing Nashville and Davidson County would mandate that 40% of work hours on city- or county-funded construction jobs costing at least $100,000 be completed by residents.

July 27, 2015 |
Tennessee county considers local worker requirement on construction projects

Photo: Nashville skyline, Kyle Simourd, Creative Commons

Voters in Davidson County, Tenn., will decide on Aug. 6 whether the city will require construction crews for large public projects to use a minimum amount of local labor.

A proposed amendment to the charter governing Nashville and Davidson County would mandate that 40% of work hours on city- or county-funded construction jobs costing at least $100,000 be completed by residents. Labor unions support the proposal that more than 16,000 Nashville voters supported in a petition drive. 

Opposing the measure are the outgoing mayor, several commercial contractors’ groups, the American Institute of Architects, and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Opponents have argued that because of an industry-wide labor shortage—including a projected shortage of nearly 18,000 workers in Nashville by the end of 2016—construction firms will have difficulty filling the proposed quota of local workers on every project.

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