Detroit Businesses, Residents and Labor leaders praise Detroit plan to create local jobs, increase accountability
DETROIT – Detroit city leaders, workers and businesses today urged the implementation of a proposal that focuses on creating local Detroit career opportunities as well as increasing accountability and transparency in awarding projects utilizing taxpayer dollars within the city.
Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones today unveiled her Invest in Detroit Procurement Amendments, which includes the Detroit Responsible Contracting plan, a provision to boost Detroit job-creation such as requiring bidders to follow standardized transparency rules and offer certified apprenticeship programs.
“Detroit’s Responsible Contracting plan will guarantee that companies wanting to work in the city limits offer Detroiters highly skilled training, and lifelong careers, not just temporary jobs,” said Brian McKinney, CEO of Detroit-based Gayanga Co. “That is a top priority at our company and others who are committed to Detroit’s citizens.
“That means greater access to the quality healthcare these careers provide. It means an easier path to home ownership. It means earning a family-sustaining wage. These are all things Detroiters, and particularly residents of color, have been told to ‘wait’ on for too long. This law ensures that young black and brown children, along with their families, will have access to healthcare to combat pre-existing conditions, and parents will be able to become homeowners. We have the opportunity to truly make residents lives better through this plan and the careers it will create and sustain – and to make it happen now.
“The city has a moral obligation to make sure that projects lift the very community that is paying for them. These are the careers that Detroiters and their children deserve and supporting these workers and the companies they work can make Detroit a great community for generations to come.”
The Responsible Contracting plan ensures all contractors bidding for projects in the city are evaluated fairly to maximize competition, increase transparency, save taxpayer dollars, and eliminate cheating. The plan prohibits companies from backfilling work orders and requires companies to accurately classify its workers as employees, and not so-called independent contractors as a way to pay low wages and avoid payroll, state and federal taxes. The proposal also aligns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, including prioritizing companies that offer U.S. Department of Labor-certified Registered Apprenticeship programs and pay good wages and benefits.
The Detroit Responsible Contracting plan has also been heralded by area labor organizations, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, Laborers’ Local 1191, Operating Engineers 324, and Plumbers Local 98.
“Detroiters deserve this proposed Responsible Contracting plan. We have a president that seeks to create good paying jobs with unlimited DOL-approved training opportunities, good healthcare, and solid pension plans. The Responsible Contracting plan creates those tangible job opportunities that President Biden so often refers to when he addresses the American people,” said Mike Aaron, Business Manager of Laborers’ Local 1191. “It is time that we focus on more than just rebuilding and revitalizing Detroit’s skyline. There needs to be a renewed focus on investing in worker protections and wages that restore Detroit’s middle class – including communities of color. The proposed Responsible Contracting plan gets us one step closer to that investment in Detroiters, the communities they live in and establishing the necessary pathways to sustainable career opportunities for their children.
“It also helps us make sure that contractors get the job right, on budget and on time, and end practices like misclassifying employees, hiring unskilled workers, and avoiding the taxes they owe. This landmark proposal will save the city and taxpayers money on construction projects in the long run.”
“The Detroit Responsible Contracting plan ensures that Detroit projects benefit Detroit workers, Detroit families and Detroit neighborhoods,” Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones said. “We’re excited to announce the Detroit Responsible Contracting plan because it will enable us to invest in services that can strengthen our community today and into the future. This proposal can also help us give Detroit voters what they want when they approved Proposal N in 2020 to strengthen our neighborhoods, remove blight and get Detroiters to work. By putting a priority on projects that are the best fit for our city and our community, the Detroit Responsible Contracting plan is how we build Detroit back better offering good paying jobs with career pathways, health care, pensions and worker’s compensation.”