Wagner, Eustace & Gordon Urge Inclusion of Project Labor Agreements & Preference for Local Employment in ‘American Dream’ Contracts

Trenton – Senator Bob Gordon, Assemblywoman Connie Wagner and Assemblyman Tim Eustace, (all D-Bergen/Passaic), on Thursday sent the below correspondence to the Bergen County Improvement Authority, Bergen County Executive Kathy Donovan and the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders urging the inclusion of strong Project Labor Agreements and local employment preferences for Bergen County Trades members in the contracts for the “American Dream” project in the Meadowlands:

NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE

SENATOR BOB GORDON
ASSEMBLYWOMAN CONNIE WAGNER
ASSEMBLYMAN TIM EUSTACE
38TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

March 21, 2013

Honorable Kathleen A. Donovan
Bergen County Executive
One Bergen County Plaza Floor 5 Rm. 580
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Dear Executive Donovan,

As we move closer to final agreements on financing for the long-sought American Dream project in the Meadowlands, we believe it is of the utmost importance that any construction contracts include Project Labor Agreements and provisions that make it a priority to hire Bergen County Building Trades members.

With total investments expected to be close to $3.8 billion, this project will be one of the most significant economic development efforts in Bergen County and the State of New Jersey in years. It will create as many as 9,000 construction jobs and eventually employ an estimated 15,000 people which, in turn, will generate both immediate and long-term economic activity in the region.

With a stubborn unemployment rate in New Jersey that has been especially hard on local construction trades workers, this is an opportunity to put them back to work in jobs that will make use of their skills and contribute to economic growth. The best way to do this – and the fairest way – is to make sure that the construction contracts include Project Labor Agreements.

Moreover, we believe it is vital that the development contracts give preference to local workers. We want to do what we can to maximize the economic benefits for Bergen County and the North Jersey region. Putting qualified people from the area to work should be a top priority. We also believe that Projects Labor Agreements and a preference for local workers will contribute to the quality of work, to job growth and to the regional economy as a whole.

All of us have worked long and hard to see the American Dream project become a reality. We want to praise everyone for their dedicated efforts. To ensure the success of our work and of the project, it is vital that these employment provisions are part of the final plans.

Sincerely,

Senator Bob Gordon Assemblywoman Connie Wagner Assemblyman Tim Eustace