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Addressing Disparities in Hiring and Contracting Practices in Transportation and Public Works Projects


WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Government spends billions of dollars on transportation projects that translates into tens of thousands of jobs in the United States each year; and 

WHEREAS, according to Jared Bernstein, White House Economist, "Road money ripples through the economy better than other spending because it improves the nation's infrastructure"; and 

WHEREAS, communities of color and particularly African-American communities are experiencing catastrophic levels of economic decline, with over 40% of African-American teens unemployed; and 

WHEREAS, under the guidance of the NAACP Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota State Conferences along with representation from the clergy, the National Black Chamber of Commerce and other minority contracting and business councils, are addressing the disparity in minority hiring and the awarding of contracts; and 

WHEREAS, the infrastructure money administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation alone breaks down as follows: 

  • $27.5 billion for restoration, repair, and construction of highway, rail, and port infrastructure; 
  • $8 billion for grants to fund projects for the development of high-speed rail corridors and intercity passenger rail service; 
  • $1.3 billion to Amtrak (national rail service) for upgrades and repairs to rail infrastructure and improvement of security; 
  • $6.9 billion for transit assistance grants, of which $100 million will be available to public transit agencies for investments that reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of their public transportation systems; and 
  • $1.5 billion in competitive grants for national surface transportation systems, including highway and bridge projects, public transportation, and rail projects. 

WHEREAS, Title VI imposes upon federal officials "not only the duty to refrain from participating in discriminatory practices, but the affirmative duty to police the operations and prevent discrimination by state or local agencies funded by them" NAACP v. Brehnan, 1973. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports a national effort to address the disparity in minority hiring and contracting with respect to transportation issues; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all NAACP units will work in concert to address the disparity. 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP, through its National Office, State Conference and Branches conduct educational seminars on the critical program and policy of project labor agreements to support local hiring of infrastructure projects within their respective jurisdictions.