ERIE COUNTY — "First source" is what County Executive Mark Poloncarz calls it. What it does, is address something that bothered Poloncarz a lot.
“It drove me crazy, as County Comptroller, county tax dollars go to for construction projects with contractors who came from outside the area and brought their own workforce, Poloncarz said.”
On Wednesday, Poloncarz signed an executive order to set aside a bloc of work hours from county-financed construction projects for people living in the poverty-prone neighborhoods.
“We know the workforce is there. It’s just insuring that public dollars that are being sent by Erie County are going back into the pockets of the people who paid for them through their taxes,” Poloncarz said.
In the first year of the new labor policy, 20 percent of all work hours on a county construction project costing more than $250,000 will be reserved for people from 16 different Erie County zip codes. These are areas where poverty and unemployment are high.
These are the zip codes these job opportunities will be director towards: 14201, 14203, 14203, 14204, 14206, 14207, 14208, 14209, 14210, 14211, 14212, 14213, 14214, 14215, 14218, 14061 and 14169.
These are largely in the City of Buffalo and the near suburbs of Lackawanna, Tonawanda and Cheektowaga. Also included is the village of Farnham and Wales Center.