November 6 - November 12, 2016

Some subcontractors working on the new hockey arena in Detroit are facing fines for not hiring enough local workers; contractors have said they simply can't find skilled help in the area. Are local-hiring mandates on big jobs like this a good idea, or unfair?

Answers Votes
Bad idea. A job of this scale needs the best possible workers, and if they can't be found nearby, a contractor shouldn't be penalized for looking elsewhere. 63%
Good idea, but only if they're backed up by government investments in training and apprenticeship. 20%
Good idea. These big projects should boost the local economy and create jobs, not bring in all out-of-state labor temporarily. 16%

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Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; Construction; Good Technical Practice

Comment from Jesse Melton, (11/8/2016, 9:11 AM)

There's an accountability issue here and it's not suitable for yes/no answers. I have never seen or heard a proposal for anything other than very small projects that doesn't include at least one subheading bigging up the new work for blue collar locals of every relevant trade and skill level. Obviously, a great looking chart will be included. You can gage the scale of the duplicity by examining the distance between the assurances of local jobs and the bid summary. If the local labor stats are in an appendix it's a good time to go pad your pockets with money from hotels you advise to raise their rates. If someone tenders a multimillion dollar bid without knowing the local labor pool they really shouldn't be building anything larger than one of those sisal covered things house cats play on. They're way out of their depth.

Comment from Jesse Melton, (11/8/2016, 9:46 AM)

Looking back at the ridiculously loaded survey responses, that second choice about training and apprenticeships is crap. Unless workers are being imported from Scandinavia or Germany the US idea of training and apprenticeship is worse than the US idea of education. Utter lack of salesmanship on the part of a company isn't an issue for the government. If you're not walking away with a contract 7-10% higher than the next closest bid then it's time for a new sales team. Again, the US idea of sales is atrocious. Cost is, at best, a tertiary issue. You go into negotiations to raise the contract value, not a willingness to devalue your work. If that's not possible then your sales efforts are better suited to the house cat exercise fixture industry.

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