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7:51 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Community Panel Wants Local Jobs From New Airport Terminal Project

Community groups are pushing the City of New Orleans to make sure local workers get their share of the jobs expected from a half-billion-dollar airport project. Up to 13,000 construction jobs could be created from building a new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

The City of New Orleans now has standards in the contract process calling for local workers to get some of the jobs created by a construction process — even setting goals for those owned by disadvantaged or minority residents.

But community groups say those jobs never seem to materialize.

So a commission formed from civil rights, labor and faith groups to check what’s planned for the new airport process.

Co-chairman Roy Brumfield is a member of the labor-advocate group Stand With Dignity. He says New Orleans workers should be busy in all the building projects created after Hurricane Katrina

“Look at the miserable state that our economy in, and they have all this construction going on. Our economy should be the most stimulated economy in America right now,” he said.

The Data Center has found that New Orleans has more minority-owned businesses than the nation as a whole, but their share of receipts consistently falls below the national average.

Brumfield says the New Orleans Aviation Board should consider minority hiring a critical element of the proposals it will be evaluating.

“I do realize that it’s the first time that they’re trying this in New Orleans, and it’s kind of experimental to New Orleans," he said. "But within that experiment we should see not where it could benefit the business community, but benefit the citizens of New Orleans.”  

The aviation board is considering two proposals to build the new terminal. The contract for the next phase is scheduled to be awarded later this month. The new terminal is set to open in 2018.

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