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FHWA Announces Local Hire Pilot Program

May 20, 2021

On May 20, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a new initiative to permit, on an experimental basis, contractors to utilize geographic, economic, or other hiring preferences on federal-aid highway projects. This “local hire” initiative will be carried out as a pilot program for a period of 4 years (unless extended) under FHWA’s existing experimental contracting authority. AGC is broadly opposed to local hire preference policies. After yesterday’s pilot program release, AGC CEO Steve Sandherr stated, in part: “[T]he problem with local hire programs, however, is that they solve the symptom and not the problem...too many communities have defunded their career and technical education programs and as a result there are often too few local workers with any interest in construction careers or basic skills that would make them qualified to be hired.” 

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