5:10 PM / Saturday February 24, 2024

9 Dec 2016

Building Local

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
December 9, 2016 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:   (Courtesy

City Council wants to make sure that City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild program includes the city’s residents.

By Denise Clay

Thank you, Mayor Jim Kenney, for making diversity an important part of the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild program.

But if you don’t mind, City Council would like to make sure that the 40 percent diversity and inclusion that you’re proposing actually comes to pass by giving you a few suggestions.

Last Thursday, Councilwoman Cherelle Parker proposed a resolution that would give Mayor Kenney and the administrators of the Rebuild program a roadmap to 40 percent that involves the School District of Philadelphia, the city’s churches and community centers and apprenticeship programs that would allow people with experience who aren’t in trade unions an expedited route to membership, and thus more employment.

Because Philadelphia’s Black and Latino communities seem to miss out when it comes to big City of Philadelphia construction projects, Parker and her fellow council members on the resolution—Jannie Blackwell, Derek Green, Mark Squilla and Maria Quinones-Sanchez—felt it was important to make the body’s feelings known.

“I, in no way, shape or form, view this as the all-encompassing silver bullet that will achieve what we hope and diversify the building trades and increasing the number of minorities and women that are doing business in the City of Philadelphia,” Parker said.

“However, you have to blame my 10 years of having to work in a highly charge, partisan environment in Harrisburg for the formula I’m accustomed to using when you are trying to achieve an affirmative outcome regarding a difficult issue,” Parker continued. “And the way to do that is to not wait until Rebuild is sort of unveiled and then criticize what we think is weak and/or wrong about that process.”

The resolution proposed by Parker highlighted several ways that the folks running the Rebuild program could ensure participation Blacks and Latinos.

Those ways include:

  • More vocational-technical programs with the School District of Philadelphia;
  • Neighborhood-based pre-apprenticeship programs that include places of worship as places where interested people can apply for membership in case they can’t access the building trade unions directly, these spaces will also allow the city to keep track of the people who have signed up from these anchor areas.
  • Create Executive Apprenticeship programs. There are a lot of people who have been working for as long as 40 years as trades men and women, but haven’t been able to get union membership, Parker said. With the use of a challenge test, these executive apprentices can be granted union membership;
  • Keep track of how many people are these projects require, which will allow officials to be able to know how many people are taking parts in the Rebuild program.

By doing these things, there may be fewer cars with New Jersey license plates parked at construction sites, Parker said.

“I will tell you that we have all heard from Philadelphians that are frustrated when they see non-Philadelphians working on construction and development projects in their neighborhoods.”

So one of Parker’s other suggestions put forth in the resolution is to provide incentives for companies to use Philadelphians in their work and to partner with governmental agencies such as SEPTA and PennDOT to make sure that these workers can get to their jobs.

In other council news, the body approved the report of the Criminal Justice committee’s initial report. Among the recommendations included in the report is to provide GPS monitoring anklets to people who are out on bail.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Philly NAACP

Philadelphia NAACP News

February 18, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia NAACP news as of Feb. 2 Philadelphia NAACP Branch News...

Color Of Money

How to give your business an inviting local flair using design

February 17, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Think of local businesses that feel connected to your community. What comes to mind?...


Four tips to live a more heart-healthy lifestyle

February 17, 2024

Tweet Email BPTIn honor of American Heart Month this February, you can make positive changes to your...


Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 2024 

February 12, 2024

Tweet Email The Kansas City Chiefs narrowly beat the San Francisco 49ers, becoming the 2024 Super Bowl champions. The...

Fur Babies Rule!

Bow to Wow! America’s top 10 shelter dog makeovers

February 3, 2024

Tweet Email BPTZen was rescued from a horrendous hoarding case. She arrived at the shelter with mange...


‘Soaring’ over hills or ‘playing’ with puppies, study finds seniors enjoy virtual reality

February 23, 2024

Tweet Email By Terry Spencerassociated press POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Retired Army Col. Farrell Patrick taught computer...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff