(Syracuse, NY)- Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson today voiced strong opposition to Councilor Khalid Bey’s proposal to "require companies that have city contracts worth at least $100,000 for construction work, public works projects and certain other services to recruit Syracuse residents to perform at least 20 percent of their labor."
Sampson said, “Councilor Bey is not the first to propose an ordinance such as this, nor will he be the last. Elected officials have used this proposal across the country to try to appeal to their electorate.  The problem is that this proposal would not only hurt potential employees but will drive up costs to a tax base that is already struggling and take away funds that are very badly needed to repair the dilapidated infrastructure that plagues the City of Syracuse. Forcing prohibitive, restrictive mandates down the throats of small businesses that are already being crushed by the over-burdensome regulations and the high taxes of New York State is simply not the answer.
Further, the proposal is neither practical nor constitutional. Cities that have implemented this ordinance, such as Cleveland, OH and San Francisco, CA have faced legal obstacles, and in some cases the ordinances have been declared illegal.
Councilor Bey is well aware that the surest way to combat poverty is by investing in workforce programs that provide people skills that are in demand. As it stands, the construction industry is facing a severe shortage in skilled labor that is only expected to grow exponentially in the years to come. We’d be happy to sit down with Councilor Bey and discuss the numerous other ways to fight poverty such implementing job training programs, free enterprise, fair competition and a competitive business environment.“

About Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter

Associated Builders & Contractors was founded on the shared belief that construction projects should be awarded on merit to the most qualified and responsible low bidders. The Empire State Chapter represents over 400 members in the construction industry throughout NYS, including over 100 in Central New York.