Use Of Non-Local Workers On Construction Projects Is 'Public Eye' Topic
Why is the north country's unemployment rate so high when there are so many construction projects going on?
Local labor leaders say it's because local workers aren't being hired.
That's the topic of Friday night's Public Eye on WPBS.
Cheryl Mayforth of the WorkPlace in Watertown and Dennis Affinati of the IBEW local 910 electrical union say local construction workers are missing out on the north country's building boom.
They point to the two major apartment projects going up along Arsenal Street.
Out-of-town developers are using out-of-town contractors with out-of-town workers.
What's more, the projects are getting tax breaks.
Mayforth says she hopes local leaders will require this kind of project to use local workers.
"I hope we can come up with a language to be able to use our local labor force," Mayforth said.
"These are the people who live here. These are the people who pay taxes here. These are the people who will support economic growth in the area."
"I would much rather see my membership employed," Affinati said.
"But as far as the choice between bringing in a workforce from outside our area or using local people who are nonunion, I'm going to pick the local person every time." he said.
"They're the folks that are in our community."
COR Development and Morgan Management, the developers putting up the apartments on Arsenal Street, didn't return calls for comment.
Public Eye is a production of WPBS in cooperation with WWNY/WNYF. It airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. on WPBS.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Watertown, NY
On Wall Street