Rahm to propose plan to boost women, minority work on city projects

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a Chicago City Council meeting last month. File Photo. Brian Jackson/ for the Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce new incentivesTuesdayintended to boost job opportunities for minorities and women in city-funded construction projects.

The mayor’s proposal also would encourage contract bidders to hire workers from economically depressed areas of the city.

“Chicago will only reach its full potential when every resident from every neighborhood has a chance to have a job and an opportunity to participate in our economic growth,” Emanuel said in a statement. “This proposal will ensure that we are leveraging our procurement dollars to create jobs for residents in all parts of Chicago.”

The city already offers contractors bidding on city projects incentives to commit to a minimum percentage of labor hours for minorities and women. Currently, the maximum percentage of labor hours the city can consider for the bid incentives is 50 percent minority and 10 percent women. Emanuel aims to boost that to allow 70 percent minority and 15 percent women, according to City Hall.

The changes are expected to apply to all city-funded construction procurements, according to the mayor’s office.

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