The City of Boston has a 30-year policy of asking developers to seek out Boston residents, people of color, and women as workers on all federally assisted, city sponsored, and privately funded developments within the City limits.
- Established in 1983 by City Ordinance
- Strengthened in 1985 by Executive Order
- On all city-assisted projects, developers must make a “best faith” effort to achieve a workforce of 50% Boston residents, 25% minorities, and 10% women
One of the most visible examples of the BRJP in action in recent years is the construction of the Dudley Municipal building in Dudley Square. Between December 2012 and the middle of October 2013, the Dudley project has averaged 50% Boston residents, 57% minorities, and 8% women working on the project.
Another large project, the Salvation Army Kroc Center of Boston average 51% Boston, 51% minority, and 15% women working on the project before it opened in 2011.
Boston residents who want to be considered for construction career opportunities can enroll in the Boston Jobs Bank by visiting 43 Hawkins St. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. There, they will fill out an application and be interviewed by an intake coordinator. Then applicants are placed on a referral list for positions as they become available citywide.
Besides the Jobs Bank one of the key outreach efforts we utilize is to create Community Monitoring Committees on certain high impact projects. These include bi-weekly meetings with key community members where jobs reports are reviewed, employment opportunities are identified & acted upon and corrective action measures are agreed upon. This open and transparent process has been successfully used on projects like the Haynes Early Education Center, the Lilia Frederick Middle School, the Orchard Gardens School, the Kroc Center, the new B2 Police Station, and the Dudley Municipal Center project.
The Boston Small & Local Business Office oversees the Boston Residents Jobs Policy citywide. The Boston Redevelopment Authority maintains data on compliance, with the policy.
The Boston Residents Jobs Policy goes hand-in-hand with the City’s long-held policy of giving people a second chance. The City enacted landmark legislation in 2006 to provide productive work opportunity for ex-offenders. The Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Ordinance (CBC 4-7) requires private vendors with city contracts to adopt policies “substantially similar” to the City’s internal hiring practices, such as removing criminal history questions from job applications, and limits city vendors’ use of CORI checks to positions that are “sensitive” in nature. Sensitive positions include but are not limited to, jobs that require unsupervised contact with vulnerable populations (minors, elderly, disabled) as well as public safety jobs and those requiring the handling of cash or privileged information. Additionally CORI checks should only be requested after an applicant is fully reviewed and considered qualified for the position. Thereafter the policy requires that the applicant be informed of the results and the specific reasons for the decision.
The CORI Ordinance has been embraced as a national model by municipalities seeking to reduce barriers to employment for ex-offenders. Cambridge and Worcester Massachusetts, and over 50 cities in 26 states (including Massachusetts) have followed Boston’s progressive hiring model. We recognize that the CORI ordinance by itself is one step towards providing employment opportunity, so in the past 12 months the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Civil Rights, the City Auditor, the Purchasing Department, the Law Department and the Intergovernmental Relations Office have been working with the Boston Workers Alliance and other local non-profit organizations to develop regulations, educate city vendors and educate job seekers in an effort to strengthen and further the policy.
Images used with permission