(September 9, 2013) Falcons stadium: Local hiring plan still to be addressed in discussions of community benefits deal

Posted on SaportaReport by David Pendered
On September 9th, 2013
Original Link: http://saportareport.com/blog/2013/09/falcons-stadium-local-hiring-plan-yet-to-be-addressed-by-community-benefits-deal/

The issue of how to harness the economic power of the future Falcons stadium in order to create jobs for lower income residents of nearby neighborhoods has received scant attention in the discussion to date.

Now the jobs forecast is in: 1,300 new jobs are predicted in the city’s redevelopment plan that covers English Avenue and Vine City, but not Castleberry Hill – which is supposed to be part of the deal. Of these jobs, 47 appear to be temporary construction-related jobs; 891 appear to be permanent jobs in retail shops and a hotel; and the tasks associated with 362 jobs are not specified in the plan.

There has yet to be a significant discussion of the creation of local hiring program to give nearby residents a first crack at these jobs – let alone jobs building the stadium.  Yet such a program is not new ground, because Atlanta has established provisions relating to jobs in previous community benefits deals for projects including the stadium now called Turner Field and the Atlanta BeltLine.

The discussions at the five public meetings of the Community Benefits Plan Committee conducted since July have dwelled largely on two issues:

  • Establishing the relationship between city officials and residents;
  • Discussing the redevelopment plan that’s to guide the spending of $15 million in city property tax revenues collected in the Westside Tax Allocation District – the area west of downtown that includes the stadium.

There has been little, if any, conversation about providing access to jobs building the stadium. Such hiring appears to be required by legislation adopted Feb. 4 by the Atlanta City Council.

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