Some progress made in local hiring efforts

By Emily Daly
The Guardsman

City College’s efforts to hire more locals for the North Beach campus construction project have been mostly successful, although it was found that some contractors had violated of the project’s “good faith effort” hiring provisions.

Trustee Steve Ngo presented this information at the March 10 Facilities, Infrastructure and Technology Committee meeting when he introduced resolution 110324-S1.

The committee also discussed City College’s local hiring practices with the advocacy organization Chinese for Affirmative Action.

“This is the Board of Trustees giving some teeth to the work CAA does,” Ngo said.

The contractor with the most hours of work done by locals was Clipper International, at 86.58 percent of the overall work done by San Francisco workers, and 100 percent in January, according to Chinese for Affirmative Action’s Feb. 2 Local Hiring Report.

Contractors with the least hours completed by local workers, at zero percent each, were A&B Painting, J&J Acoustics, KCA Surveyors and Concrete Water, according to the Local Hiring Report. However, these contractors worked relatively few hours compared to the other contractors working on the project.

Resolution 110324-S1 recommends the San Francisco Community College District initiate a grievance, starting April 15, against any contractor that violates local hiring provisions within 30 days after its adoption.

As of Jan. 31, the compliance status of all contractors was listed as “in progress,” except for A&B Painting, which was listed “non compliant.”

“What I am ideological about is that we keep promises, and do whatever we can to help the economy,” Ngo said.

CAA’s Local Hiring Report revealed 33 percent of the work hours done on the project in January were completed by local workers, who made up 23 percent of the workforce. Two local workers were female, contributing 188 hours of work.

Jenny Lam, director of Community Initiatives of Chinese for Affirmative Action, said local hours are cumulatively increasing, but that delayed scheduling affected the local hiring ability of some contractors.

When assessing workers by race, Caucasians worked 2,727 hours on the project, followed by Asian Pacific Islanders at 1,367 hours, Latinos at 1,352 hours, and African Americans at 650 hours.

Trustee Chris Jackson expressed concern that the gap in African Americans in the workforce is getting wider.

“I can’t get past that. I can’t come back to my neighborhood with that,” he said, but also acknowledged the improvements the CAA has accomplished.

Jackson said it was important residents from all communities contribute to City College projects, so they will support future projects in their communities.

As hours completed by local workers increase, so will the diversity of the workforce, Lam said, which will make it more representative of the San Francisco workforce.

Grace Lee, a policy advocate for the CAA, said the the local hiring agreements focus on construction workers, not employees such as security guards, accountants and management. These workers are not reflected in the statistics.

David Liggett, of City College’s Facilities Management Department, said they would work with the CAA to make sure bidders on the Performing Arts Center project know from the start City College is serious about local hiring.


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