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Federal Register Notices regarding Local Labor Hiring

From: Kalla, Hari (FHWA)
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2017 11:06 AM
Subject: Information: Federal Register Notices regarding Local Labor Hiring


On October 6, 2017, the US DOT published a Federal Register Notice announcing the withdrawal of a proposed rulemaking for geographic hiring preferences and related pilot programs.

The USDOT discontinued these programs because of minimal interest from recipients and the difficulty in evaluating cost effectiveness based upon objective criteria. Furthermore, the Pilot Programs did not create additional construction jobs. Construction contractors were given a contractual incentive to hire locally for new jobs. The contracting industry voiced its opposition to any requirement which did not add value to the completion of the contract.

FHWA approved local labor hiring preference pilot projects under its experimental contracting program Special Experimental Project No. 14. Twenty-four projects administered by seventeen different contracting agencies were approved under the two Pilot Programs. The approved pilot programs projects may continue without change. Contracting agencies are encouraged to provide their project evaluations as proposed in their SEP-14 and forward these to the Office of Infrastructure.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Jerry Yakowenko.


In a March 6, 2015 Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), the US DOT proposed to amend its regulations at 2 CFR part 1201 to permit recipients and subrecipients to impose geographic-based hiring preferences when not otherwise prohibited by Federal statute. These provisions would not have applicability to Federal-aid highway program which is subject to the competitive bidding requirements in 23 U.S.C. 112 and 23 CFR 635.

Also on March 6, 2015, the DOT published a separate Federal Register notice announcing a decision to carry out a pilot program that enabled FHWA or FTA grantees to utilize social and/or economic contracting requirements and evaluate the impacts to the competitive bidding process. The pilot program focused on local or other geographic labor hiring preferences, economic-based labor hiring preferences (i.e., low-income workers), and labor hiring preferences for veterans. DOT extended the Contracting Initiative for a second one-year period ending March 6, 2017. A January 18, 2017 Federal Register Notice extended the program for an additional five years (expiring on March 6, 2022).

A June 25, 2010 Federal Register Notice announced FHWA’s intent to establish a "Livability Initiative Under Special Experimental Project No. 14". This pilot program enabled States to use geographic hiring preferences on projects jointly funded by FHWA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Updated: 11/28/2018
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