Experts recommend an inspection for any homes over 10 years old that add new appliances or fixtures, but Syracuse schools are taking their inspection and remodeling in a more inclusive direction.
According to the terms of a new labor agreement, a workforce of largely minorities and Syracuse residents will be the ones performing renovations on more than a dozen city schools around the area.
The Joint Schools Construction Board, which is overseeing the second part of a massive state legislation-funded school renovation project, approved the agreement earlier this week.
The agreement has been called “unprecedented” in Syracuse by the mayor’s office. It prioritizes hiring women, minorities, and city residents to complete the renovations.
As part of the agreement, dozens of labor unions have stated they will be hiring workers who participate in training programs sponsored by the JSCB.
“Rebuilding our schools is a commitment to the next generation of Syracusans, ensuring they have the best environment to achieve academic success surrounding them every day. A part of our commitment to our children is giving opportunity to their parents and neighbors to have the dignity of good work, the steady and fair wages that help working families succeed and rebuild our community,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner, who serves as the Chair of the JSCB Board.
The project labor agreement (PLA) has several goals, and phase two includes city residents, which the first phase did not.
The first goal is to have 20% MWBE contractors (12% minority and 8% women). The second is 20% minority hiring. The final, newly added requirement to the project is a goal of 20% of city residents hired on the project, measured in overall man or woman hours.
The first phase of the JSCB project was completed last year and included the renovation of four city school for approximately $150 million.
The second phase, though, is much larger, setting out to renovate 14 schools with a budget of $300 million for the entire project.
“These goals, which I know the City and our partners are steadfastly committed to achieving, will make a difference in the lives of many City residents who are
struggling to make ends meet. This historic agreement links our public dollars with workforce development into a true investment in the people of the City of Syracuse,” Miner said.