Tag: Diversity

May 26

2016

Building a diverse pipeline for the trades

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Pre-apprentice programs that prepare minorities to enter the building trades are critical to diversifying the construction workforce, a national expert said Wednesday at an event hosted by Investigative Post. Buffalo needs a “big pot of money” for apprenticeship programs bolstered by community groups that work together to promote diversity in the construction trades, said John Goldstein, a national expert in workforce diversity in construction. “That seems like one critical piece that might be missing,” said John Goldstein, a national expert in workforce diversity. That money could come from contractors, foundations or be included in project labor agreements, he said. Download Goldstein’s[...]

Posted 6 years ago

May 10

2016

How to diversify the building trades in Buffalo

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  When Minnesota lawmakers agreed to put millions of dollars toward building a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, contractors were told they had to what some thought impossible: ensure that minorities accounted for a third of the construction workforce. Work on the $1.1 billion stadium is wrapping up, and contractors, despite their initial skepticism, have not only met the 32 percent goal but exceeded it, reaching 36 percent minority participation. This kind of ambitious goal-setting has been absent on major projects in the Buffalo area. The minority workforce goal was just 13.2 percent on the $130 million renovations[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Mar 29

2016

Buffalo failing to enforce diversity law

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  Mayor Byron Brown has done a lot of talking about the need to provide job opportunities for people of color. He’s pushed some 210 businesses and organizations to sign his “Opportunity Pledge” and spoken in favor of apprentice programs that give young workers a foot in the door of the construction trades. The mayor, however, has failed to use a powerful tool at his disposal to promote diversity in the workforce. City Hall under Brown has failed to enforce a law that mandates the employment of apprentices on city-financed capital projects. “They do not enforce it at all,” said[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Mar 9

2016

US Labor Secretary: inclusive growth matters

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, a Buffalo native, received a standing ovation in his hometown Tuesday as he spoke about the importance of workforce development at Bennett High School. Perez stressed the importance of hiring local residents for taxpayer-funded construction projects. “We can make sure that the residents of Buffalo and Erie County participate in our prosperity. Inclusive growth is what we’re all about,” he said. Perez’s visit comes amid growing concern that communities of color aren’t being included in the opportunities created by the city’s construction boom. The local construction trades, whose members staff many major public works projects, have made[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Feb 28

2016

Outrages: Lack of diversity in the trades

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Charlotte Keith reported last week about the lack of diversity in local trade unions. Minorities account for 17 percent of the workforce in Erie County, but only 11 percent of membership of 18 building trade unions. What’s more, that number has barely budged over the past decade, despite a pledge by the unions to dramatically diversify their membership. A fair amount of the blame falls to the unions, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. Unions and community groups that recruit and train minority job candidates generally don’t get along. They accuse each other of a lack of communication.[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Feb 26

2016

Heaney talks diversity with ‘Pressroom

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Jim Heaney, following up on Investigative Post’s report on a lack of diversity in Buffalo’s construction trades, discusses the problem with Susan Arbetter on The Capitol Pressroom. Heaney also discusses the latest developments involving lead poisoning in the city. The interview runs from 36:47 to 48:35.  

Posted 7 years ago

Feb 24

2016

iPost diversity report on WBFO

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Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post reports on a lack of diversity in the construction trade unions in Buffalo and Western New York. This story broadcast Wednesday on WBFO and is a companion to a story published Tuesday by Investigative Post. Produced by Jeffrey Mayne.

Posted 7 years ago

Feb 23

2016

Buffalo trade unions lagging in diversity

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  Construction in Buffalo is booming. SolarCity. Children’s Hospital. The University at Buffalo Medical School. Taxpayer-funded projects like these are employing thousands of union construction workers. But the boom has resurrected concerns that the unions have made little progress over the past decade in diversifying their membership. While minorities make up 17 percent of Erie County’s workforce and more than half of the city’s population, they account for only 11 percent of unionized construction workers, according to the most recent figures available. What’s more, there’s been virtually no change in the racial makeup of the building trades over the past[...]

Posted 7 years ago