GCEDC adopts new policy requiring local labor on incentive projects
The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to adopt a new local labor policy at the organization’s July board meeting. The new policy was developed by the GCEDC Governance and Nominating Committee.
According to the policy, at least 90 percent of non-management construction labor on projects in excess of $5 million construction costs that receive local incentives from the GCEDC must employ workers within the “Local Labor Area” which has been defined as individuals residing in Genesee, Orleans, Monroe, Wyoming, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.
“I want to thank the members of the Governance and Nominating Committee for developing a fair and balanced local labor policy. We do not believe it is unreasonable to ask companies that receive incentives and benefits from our agency to hire locally,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Wolcott Hinchey. “In addition, the local labor area has been defined to include a large area of Western New York to be able to utilize our talented and productive workforce that is readily available to general contractors and subcontractors who work on these economic development projects.”
The policy will allow for companies that receive benefits from the GCEDC to request a waiver for exemption from the local policy in certain circumstances, including the installation of specialized equipment of materials where the manufacturer requires local installation by only approved installers; specialized construction where workers from the “Local Labor Area” are not available; but the company must provide documentation that there is a lack of those particular workers in the “Local Labor Area.”
Companies that receive incentives from the GCEDC will be required to file quarterly reports documenting that they are utilizing workers from the “Local Labor Area” based on the total construction job numbers. Failure to comply with the quarterly reports could result in a company’s incentives being rescinded by the GCEDC.
“This policy is not about meeting job numbers as there are always issues that are beyond a company’s control such as a downturn in the economy; the policy is simply about companies insisting that their contractors and subcontractors hire local laborers,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “The bottom line is that if companies are receiving local tax breaks, then they should be hiring local laborers.”