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Oct
2015
6

Minority, Female Hiring Goals Exceeded on Buffalo Solar Work Thanks to Project Labor Agreement

An example of a Solar City panel-equipped school in Scottsdale, AZ

An example of a Solar City panel-equipped school in Scottsdale, AZ


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As the Solar City factory in Buffalo, NY prepares to greatly expand its construction workforce, city officials excitedly announced that hiring goals for minorities and women have been exceeded on the project.  The goals, along with mandates for apprentices to make up 10 percent of the workforce, were part of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) negotiated between the developer, LP Cimminelli, and local labor unions.  Currently, 450 construction workers are on the project, a number that is expected to soar above 1,500 in the upcoming months.  

Speaking to WBFO, Mayor Byron Brown proudly read the statistics from a July report sent to City Hall by the state: “There is 18.41 percent minority hiring, and 5.62 percent women workers that are on the site.”

The goals negotiated in the PLA were 15 percent for minorities and 5 percent for women.  Brown told WBFO that he hoped the expansion of the project and the use of apprentices would result in those percentages trending further upwards: “Certainly we believe and we hope that those numbers will rise even higher as this site grows.”

Frank Cummings of the Buffalo Black Chamber of Commerce said the newly released numbers were “encouraging,” adding: “It looks optimistic right now that the project looks on track to meet the goal, but it still remains to be seen. There is a lot more labor to be added.”

The diversification has not only been witnessed among workers. Minority- and female-owned contracting companies have received contracts amounting to 26 percent of the value of all contracts awarded so far.  

The $900 million SolarCity project is scheduled to open in 2017. Upon completion it will be the largest solar panel factory in the Western hemisphere. 

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