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Enforcement Of D.C.'s Local Hiring Laws Needs Work, Report Finds

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Liuna protesters block a federal construction site in the District in 2011, alleging that only 13 percent of those working on the project are from D.C.
Patrick Madden
  Liuna protesters block a federal construction site in the District in 2011, alleging that only 13 percent of those working on the project are from D.C.

Despite local hiring laws for publicly-funded projects in D.C., District residents are not receiving their fare share of jobs, according to a new study by the watchdog group Good Jobs First. 

The study, which was commissioned by the local labor union Liuna, found that despite's D.C. construction and real estate boom, less than 3 percent of all District workers are employed in construction. That's a much lower percentage than in other comparable cities. 

One reason for the discrepancy is that D.C. has done a poor job over the years of enforcing its local hiring laws, the Good Jobs First report found. The city's First Source Law is supposed to require that a certain percentage of jobs for projects funded by D.C. taxpayers go to D.C. residents. 

The study also looked at D.C.'s job training program and found the city is not receiving much return on its investment. It urges further oversight of these programs to ensure that residents are being trained for the right jobs.

If District residents were hired for construction jobs at the same rate as in other cities, at least 11,000 more residents would be working on construction sites, the report concluded.

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