ABOUT THE UJTFS
We are a dynamic coalition of organizations and residents of Syracuse and Onondaga County. We are friends, neighbors, businesspeople, and community-minded advocates.
We are deeply troubled by the lack of access to job opportunities for Syracuse residents, and the poverty that results from it. We work effectively to combat poverty by advocating for job training and job opportunities for Syracuse’s unemployed and under-employed workers, especially minorities.
We firmly believe publicly subsidized economic development (tax breaks for developers) should give equal economic opportunity to all residents and improve the well-being of all our neighborhoods.
We fight for dignity and fairness in local economic policy!
WHAT WE DO
We believe that a more inclusive economy is possible in Syracuse by creating policies and partnerships that promote local employment.
We educate ourselves, the community, local leaders, organizations and public officials on initiatives that foster gainful local employment.
We work with elected officials and organizations to create policies that provide opportunities for disenfranchised communities.
We advocate, organize, and fight against "business as usual" and system and practices that stand as barriers to creating a more inclusive economy and society in Syracuse.
2014: We and CenterState CEO co-created the Building Equity Initiative, which was a framework to build an inclusive economy for Syracuse residents.
2016: We pushed VIP Structures, the general contractor, and their partners for targeted hiring goals on the Southside PriceRite Project. We succeeded. The project reported that of the total workhours, the 30% went to city residents, and 30% to workers of color.
2018: Co-wrote with Legal Services of CNY a study on racial disparities, titled “Building Equity in the Construction Trades: A Racial Equity Impact Statement.” REIS Report is available on our website.
2018: Collected 2300 signatures for a petition that demanded Syracuse Residents receive equal opportunity for jobs on the I-81 Viaduct Project.
2018 – 2021: With a research partnership with CenterState, we helped launch the construction trade initiative Syracuse Build. We previously served on its director search committee.
2021: We collaborated with the New York Civil Liberties Union - organizing a march and press conference, punctuating the social and economic needs of the community impacted by the I-81 project.
2014: We pushed, and the Joint School Construction board established 20% hiring goal for Syracuse workers on Syracuse City School District renovation projects.
2023: We pushed, and the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) adopted a community benefits policy requiring each project to commit to 10% City resident hiring and 10% MWBE goals for developers to receive tax breaks.
2016: We pushed, and the Syracuse Common Council passed the Syracuse Resident Employment Ordinance requiring City Residents to perform 20% of total work force hours on City projects costing a minimum of $100,000.
2023: With national and local community partners, we led the way and the New York Department of Transportation set a 15% local hire incentive for its I-81 project – up to 1 million workhours for Syracusans.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Syracuse Build (2021 – present): We currently serve on the Syracuse Build Steering Committee.
Big Table (2020 – present):
We fought for the creation of the Big Table which includes key stakeholders. Its purpose is to push for workforce equity for city residents and fair contracting for minority business owners on I-81. with the mayor’s office and Legal Services, we plan the activities of the Big Table.
City of Syracuse Contract (2022-present):
As part of the contract, we
advocate for needed interventions to promote I-81 workforce equity,
inform Syracusans of training, and work opportunities on the I-81 project, and
monitor and publish the “local hire” results as the I-81 project moves forward.
Continue to advocate for employment opportunities for City residents on all new development projects, such as Micron and the new aquarium.
Press Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency to respect SIDA’s new community benefits policy by not granting tax benefits on any project within the city limits.
There are various ways you can support the efforts of the Urban Jobs Task Force:
Become a member - Participate in four quarterly meetings and join one of our committes.
Become an ally - Sign up to our email list keeping you up to date with our efforts.
Let us know in the subject line which level of support you are interested in, or just send us a note asking for information.