By Adam Allington, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed a bill into law on Monday that sets hiring quotas for minority and women participation in public works projects.
The ordinance will apply to city works projects with a base value of $1 million or more, which amounts to about 40 percent of all city construction.
25 percent of all labor hours are to be completed by minorities, 5 percent by women and 15 percent by apprentices from recognized training programs.
18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy sponsored the bill. He says the ordinance goes much farther than current minority participation laws because it deals in specific numbers.
"This is significant in that this is dealing specifically with work force. This is not just minority and women business enterprises but the actual individuals on the job site," says Kennedy.
The bill also requires 20-percent of employees be residents living in the City of St. Louis.
Mayor Slay went on to note that City Hall will work with contractors to help them meet the new goals.
"If we're not satisfied with their approach, then we're going to go back to the drawing board and say 'you need to do a better job here,'" says Slay. "We're going to work with those contractors and help them find ways to make sure that they meet these goals."
The first chance to pub the legislation to work will come later this year the City breaks ground on a new $20-million recreation center in O'Fallon Park.