From the New Jersey AFL-CIO Media Center
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks and congratulates U.S. Reps. Andy Kim, D-3rd District, and Donald Norcross, D-1st District, for introducing the bipartisan Put Our Neighbors to Work Act on Friday along with Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Paul Cook, R-Calif. The state labor federation looks forward to working with them to put more union brothers and sisters to work on military construction projects.
The Put Our Neighbors to Work Act would give local contractors preference on jobs within their own state or on military construction projects within 60 miles of them. The act also would increase awareness of projects valued at more than $250,000.
“This bill would help ensure that the money from construction projects coming to our Joint Base [McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst] stays in our community,” Kim said. “It’ll result in jobs and opportunities for our local building trades, and a path forward for so many working families across our state.
“Working New Jerseyans have been hit hard during this economic crisis, and we need to do everything we can to help them recover,” Kim said.
“Our nation’s economy is facing new challenges brought on by the coronavirus, and our workers need support,” IBEW Brother Norcross said. “This bill would ensure local small businesses are aware of the open opportunities within our community at the Joint Base. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues in support of this initiative, which will increase transparency and level the playing field for local workers, small businesses and subcontractors.”
“Together, Vice Chairman Kim and I are working to ensure that union workers and small businesses are at the front of the line for multimillion-dollar construction projects on military bases, especially during the current economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Garamendi, chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, which has jurisdiction over all U.S. military bases, installations and buildings.
“This unprecedented public health crisis has upended our way of life and caused severe economic distress for families and communities across the country,” Cook said. “The Put Our Neighbors to Work Act will increase transparency and ensure more opportunities for local businesses.”
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO respectfully asks all members of the New Jersey House delegation to sign on as co-sponsors of this important pro-labor measure, and for them and our U.S. senators to advocate strongly for its passage to benefit New Jersey’s hard-working families.