Good Jobs & Local Hires: Pass a Community Workforce Agreement for Labor Equity

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A Community Workforce Agreement means family-wage jobs for local residents and millions of dollars circulating back into local neighborhoods.

In cities across the country, publicly funded construction projects offer real career opportunities that can be leveraged to help provide financial stability and economic growth for low-income residents and the communities they live in. I want to encourage the city council to pass a priority hire agreement that will increase labor equity and access to family-wage jobs for local residents.  

Last year, on Jan. 29, 2015, Mayor Murray signed a priority hire ordinance (as part of their Community Workforce Agreement) passed unanimously by Seattle City Council. City construction projects of $5 million or more will be required to have a percentage of project hours performed by workers living in economically distressed areas, particularly in Seattle and King County. Highlights from the “Priority Hire 2016 Annual Report” showed the following gains:

  • Doubled the amount of project hours that are being performed by workers living in economically distressed zip codes;
  • workers are earning more and bringing millions of dollars back into their community;
  • work hours performed by women on city projects nearly doubled;
  • and women and minority owned business (WMBE) utilization represented 15.9 percent of projects. 

City of Tacoma residents spoke loud and clear about their priorities in the City's Vision 2025 Plan

  • Reduce poverty. Reducing poverty is the best way to ensure that all Tacoma residents have resources to meet their needs. 
  • Increase the number and quality of jobs throughout Tacoma. Tacomans will have more economic opportunities—partners will strive to recruit, retain, and expand job opportunities throughout the community. 
  • Diversify Tacoma’s living wage business base. Providing jobs at living wages is a top priority; well-paying jobs helps the community meet multiple goals. 
  • Prepare people to succeed in Tacoma’s workforce. All residents should be prepared to succeed at jobs that are located in Tacoma or anywhere. 
  • Improve and maintain Tacoma’s streets. Tacoma’s residents are concerned about the condition of their streets; maintenance is a top priority. 
  • Engage residents, stakeholders, and partners in the future of Tacoma. Creating a better Tacoma requires engaged residents and strong partnerships. (Tacoma 2025, 2016)


Tacoma residents want good jobs and local hires. We want to earn a family wage to take care of our children and families. Citizens want access, fairness, and labor equity in publicly funded construction projects.