THE ERIE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY HAS ADOPTED A POLICY TO ENSURE LOCAL WORKERS ARE HIRED FOR CONSTRUCTION JOBS ON AGENCY-AIDED PROJECTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2013
Buffalo, NY -The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) today approved a new policy which will require developers receiving project aid to hire construction crews comprised of 90 percent local workers. Developers who fall short now face a stoppage of benefits and recapture of previous abatements or other aid.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said the Local Labor Workforce Certification Policy will create and maintain construction jobs for area residents, putting extra economic muscle behind ECIDA aid.
"This policy ensures that local labor, working on local projects, will be the beneficiaries of any incentives that ECIDA may be able to offer them. In this way, local resources will be used in the best way possible: we will be encouraging economic development in our area, using a local workforce to carry out that development, and using targeted local incentives to assist in appropriate development projects," County Executive Poloncarz said Board Member Michael President, Buffalo AFL-CIO Labor Council, called the labor force policy "a no-brainer."
"The adoption of this local labor policy insures that local working families will benefit from the temporary construction jobs produced by IDA induced projects. This policy will help Erie County realize the maximum economic impact of these projects by providing good paying jobs to local workers who live and spend their money here. I applaud my colleagues for their support of this 'smart business' initiative," Mr. Hoffert said.
The new rule, which was drawn up by the agency's Policy Committee, will employ a geographic definition of local labor that includes the eight counties of Western New York. The 90 percent local labor rule could be suspended for projects which require tradespersons with specialized skills not found in the area.
Local worker levels will be tabulated by zip codes, not names, and will be self-reported by the developer or contractor to the ECIDA at various phases of construction. The agency will also have the right to make 'spot checks' to ensure adherence.
The first project the new local labor policy will be applied to is Ellicott Development's $14.6 million adaptive reuse of the long-vacant Fairmont Creamery Co./Arctic Freezer building, at 199 Scott St., in downtown Buffalo.
The 5277 Group, a subsidiary of Ellicott Development, received $834,000 in tax abatements for the adaptive reuse effort. The refurbished building will house a mix of apartments, office space, restaurant/banquet facilities, common space and a basement brewery.
The new policy received unanimous approval by the agency's board at its May 20 session and will be forwarded to all IDAs in Erie County with the goal of uniform application and compliance.