Council passes Mayor Landrieu’s HireNOLA initiative, though questions abound BY JESSICA WILLIAMS| JWILLIAMS@THEADVOCATE.COM The New Orleans City Council on Thursday unanimously backed Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s push to get more local and disadvantaged workers hired on city projects, though questions remain about how the mayor’s policy will play out in practice. The program, dubbed Hire NOLA, is part of the city’s Economic Opportunity Strategy, launched last year in response to an unemployment rate among the city’s working-age African-American men that one recent study pegged at 52 percent. Under the policy, businesses with applicable city contracts must first turn to the city’s Office of Workforce Development to find new hires. They must make “good-faith efforts” to award hours to local and disadvantaged workers, with the ultimate goal of having half of all hours go to local workers, and 30 percent of all hours go to disadvantaged workers.

'Hire NOLA' local hiring law approved by New Orleans City Council

By Robert McClendon, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration has billed a local hiring law approved Thursday (Oct. 31) by the New Orleans City Council as a valuable tool in attacking poverty and unemployment, but the construction lobby says it could do more harm than good, and it remains to be seen exactly how the requirements will be enforced or verified. Nevertheless, the measure, which the administration has dubbed "Hire NOLA," was greeted enthusiastically by labor activists who said it was better than the status quo. On major city contracts, only about 21 percent of the work hours are performed by local workers, according to the Landrieu administration. About 52 percent of the city's black men, meanwhile, are out of work, according to an oft-cited administration statistic. Stand with Dignity, a grass roots group that has lobbied hard for the city to use its tax dollars to address social equity, held a rally in support of the rules in front of City Hall.

Media Advisory Contacts: Jacob Horwitz, 504-452-9159, jhorwitz@nowcrj.org Alfred Marshall, 504-655-6089, amarshall@nowcrj.org #BlackWorkersMatter to Petition Major Contractor, Rally at City Council to End Black Jobs Crisis What: 1) Community March on Woodward Design+Build to deliver petition for local hiring on its construction projects; 2) #BlackWorkersMatter Rally to end the Black jobs crisis in New Orleans When & Where: 1)...