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Syracuse hopes hiring ordinance will help put a dent in poverty

Ellen Abbott
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner signs the hiring ordinance into law with the Urban Jobs Task Force looking on.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has signed a Syracuse resident hiring ordinance into law. Officials have high hopes that this legislation can cut into the city’s high poverty rate.

The law will require contracts in excess of $100,000 dollars issued by the City of Syracuse, guarantee that at least 20 percent of the hours worked on a job will be done by city residents.

Miner signed her name to the legislation at Syracuse’s Southwest Community Center, saying these opportunities will go a long way in attacking poverty, and its side effects.

"It will result in less crime, better family structure. All those things you know, when you have the kind of unacceptable poverty rates that we have, that you see. Substance abuse, domestic violence, crime rates, all of that go up. If there is a panacea to those social ills, jobs is it,” Miner said.

Common Councilor Khalid Bey, who shepherded the legislature through council, won’t put a figure on how many jobs this will create, but notes the city will be following it closely.

“We’ll be able to track it. We’ll know how successful businesses are, and it’ll be pretty beneficial. In a year we’ll audit it to see where we are with employment and what the try benefits are,” said Bey.

Miner says the next step will be accelerating job training programs through the city and other organizations that can give residents the skills to take these jobs.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.