Local Jobs for Local Workers

Minnesotans hear about major new building or infrastructure construction, and we assume that the project will contribute to the local economy by putting local people to work. After all, big projects not only provide employment to local construction workers, but also create opportunities for new entrants to the skilled construction workforce. The wages and benefits paid to local construction workers are reinvested in the local economy, enabling area workers to buy homes, patronize local businesses, pay taxes, and contribute to civic life.    

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. While some project owners are committed to creating jobs for local residents, others hire contractors that rely on out-of-state or even foreign workers and shut locals out. The worst actors play a game of bait-and-switch: promoting construction job opportunities while selling the project without disclosing that few, if any, of the jobs will be filled by locals. Community members who lend their support to the project discover too late that the anticipated payroll, benefits, work experience, and career opportunities may never materialize.

We can prevent major construction companies from taking advantage of our communities. These companies benefit from big tax breaks and need help to get projects approved and funded. Before we lend our support to projects, we can demand that these companies commit to providing high-quality job opportunities to local workers. If we work together, we can make sure that Minnesota's resources are developed in ways that put Minnesotans to work.

The growing reliance on outsourced labor is especially common in Minnesota's booming wind energy industry. You can learn more about the high cost of labor outsourcing in the industry below: