|Norton Names GSA Contractors Showing Good Results in Hiring D.C. Residents|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In releasing the September D.C. hiring statistics on nine large General Services Administration (GSA) construction projects underway across the city, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) singled out General Dynamics, Clark/Smoot/Russell, Clark Construction, Turtle Associates and Marada Contracting for steady progress. After the August report, Norton met with General Dynamics officials, who were in the start-up phase with the large information technology contract at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) complex in Ward 8, to impress upon the company the importance of hiring D.C. residents. General Dynamics showed a 6% increase from its last report in District residents hired, for a total of 16%. District residents and local unions picketed the Smithsonian when it started construction of the African American Museum of History and Culture without making contact with the community. Norton called in Smithsonian officials and the developer partnership doing the work, Clark / Smoot / Russell, for a meeting. September hiring of D.C. residents at the Smithsonian project increased by 2%, for a total of 45 of 262 (17%). Clark Construction, the contractor for the Coast Guard Headquarters at St. Elizabeths, has maintained a D.C. workforce above 20% for months and its latest report showed a 1% increase, even as work on the Coast Guard headquarters winds down. The Coast Guard Headquarters project, because of its size and variety of crafts, helped identify the available qualified pool of District residents by maintaining between 20% and 25% employment of D.C. workers. D.C. residents comprise 10% of the region.
Two GSA contractors that each have work at two federal sites show an above average percentage of D.C. residents employed compared with other GSA projects here. D.C. residents make up 22% of the workers for Turtle Associates on its Reagan building project, and 9% for its Roosevelt building project, for a combined average of 14%. Similarly, 13% of Marada Contracting’s workers on its Housing and Urban Development Department building project and 13% of its workforce on its Markey National Court Building project are D.C. residents.
“General Dynamics and the Smithsonian are in the first stage of their work and off to a good start,” Norton said. “The goal should be steady increases as the work proceeds. That is how Clark Construction got D.C. hiring as high as 25%. Turtle Associates and Marada Construction, with two sites each, show good faith hiring of D.C. residents on their payrolls. I will evaluate information I have requested from the GSA on the other projects.”
Norton said that the September hiring reports for the other GSA rehabilitation projects here show little or no change in District resident hiring. The Congresswoman is requesting information from the GSA on whether any of these contractors are still hiring.
Federal law prohibits requiring contractors to hire workers based on the location of the site, but aggressive local outreach is allowed and is considered when companies bid on future contracts.
The Congresswoman closely monitors the hiring of D.C. residents at federally funded construction projects, requires contractors to file monthly reports, and makes frequent unannounced visits to construction sites.
Ward 8 Department of Homeland Security headquarters project on the St. Elizabeths Campus:
Other Large GSA Projects:
(*) Denotes project is now 100% complete.
Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture
Published: October 31, 2012