NY creates Office of Community Hiring to connect low income New Yorkers with apprenticeship opportunities

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New York Construction News staff writer

New York City’s new Office of Community Hiring will work with contractors to identify promising talent and provide employment and apprenticeship opportunities for low-income individuals.

Once fully implemented, an estimated 36,000 jobs will be created annually for low-income individuals and impacted communities, allowing city contractors to better leverage the New York City workforce.

“I am honored to be the inaugural executive director and lead the rollout of the city’s community hiring program,” said Doug Lipari, incoming executive director, Office of Community Hiring. “I am also incredibly grateful to the broad range of supporters who championed this historic legislation.

“The community hiring legislation allows the city to maximize the impact of its purchasing by connecting the capable, but underutilized, talent with the contractors who provide vital services. Community hiring will be a crucial part of the city’s economic growth and will position New Yorkers with the opportunity to thrive.”

Community hiring allows the city to leverage its purchasing power, set hiring goals across billions of dollars of city procurement contracts, and build on the success of existing project labor agreements and agency-specific hiring programs. The Office of Community Hiring will advance the administration’s vision for an equitable, inclusive economy, and deliver on the promise to prioritize the needs of working people by creating pathways to careers with family-sustaining wages.

“Community hiring increases the number of people who can work on DDC projects and also helps us to be more culturally competent as we work in every neighborhood in the city,” said New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “We’re very pleased to work with the new executive director of community hiring to share best practices and expand our outreach into the community where we build.”

New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard says the new department will connect job and career opportunities to the people and neighborhoods that really need them.

“DYCD looks forward to working with him and the community hiring program to help ensure that all New Yorkers, especially out-of-work and out-of-school young people, have an opportunity to be gainfully employed, support their families, and contribute to the economic well-being of our city,” he said.

Before being appointed executive director of the Office of Community Hiring, Lipari served as the deputy general counsel of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. Lipari played an instrumental role in negotiating the city’s recent Project Labor agreements, which cover several billion dollars of construction work, and established the city’s ambitious and first-ever community hiring goals for the construction trades. With nearly a decade of city procurement experience, Lipari recognizes the immense power of city contracting to connect local talent with the contractors who do business with the city.

“City contracting should not only improve our infrastructure, but also uplift working New Yorkers along the way,” said New York City Council Majority Whip and Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “Community hiring is an issue of basic fairness as it ensures that those who benefit from our city contribute to our community’s growth. I celebrate the rollout of the city’s community hiring program and look forward to working with the administration on implementation in Southeast Queens and beyond.”

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