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Home / Health / Harrisburg civil rights activists and minority commissioners compete for more work in the Federal Court of Justice project

Harrisburg civil rights activists and minority commissioners compete for more work in the Federal Court of Justice project



A few facts became clearer on Sunday in the ongoing debate over local participation in the construction of the new Federal High Court in Harrisburg.

1) The fears that have arisen due to the subcontracting of projects depend on how you define local and

2) While the majority of major subcontracts have been awarded, there are for Harrisburg companies and other companies Minority owned, many more opportunities to receive the multi-year $ 200 million project.

This is where Jericho March, a continuing protest by Harrisburg's civil rights leaders, begins.

At a city hall meeting in the city on Sunday, heads of state said they would continue to be part of the regular scene on the 6th and Reily streets. They want to tell each contractor that Harrisburg's companies and residents must benefit from a Harrisburg project and intend to do so.

March organizers and a handful of elected officials who joined them on Sunday said they were worried about the early repatriations.

They shared a pie chart drawn by prime contractor Mascaro Construction of Pittsburgh, which was supposed to show a healthy level of local involvement. The graph showed 66 percent of "local involvement" in contracts hitherto awarded, ie subcontractors from companies based in Lancaster, York and Dauphin.

This is based on a traditional definition in the construction industry, when you drive to and from the job site every day, rather than relocating workers to hotels, this is local.

Like Chuck Harnden, the owner of a Harrisburg company hired for excavations and other site work in the courthouse last week, "All the guys who work on this job (for his Harnden Construction Services) live in this area. You do not live in a motel room, you go home every night. "

But some Harrisburg and The elected officials of Dauphin County have a very different idea of ​​what is meant by local.

As Mike Pries, the commissioner of Dauphin County, said, the problem is that contractors from Lancaster County (43 percent to Mascaro's figures) and York County (1

7 percent) are far more of this local involvement than Dauphin ( 6 percent).

"The project is not in Lancaster. It is not in York. It is not in other districts. It's here, "Pries said," and when people say they work, they stay local, not that pie chart, and we'll keep up the pressure. "

" I want to see the people here running around and not having a job – as Rite Aid has now dismissed 400 people – that they can get a job here, "said Harrisburg City Council President Wanda Williams. "Those homeless in the Bethesda Mission (a men's home opposite the courthouse) can get a job."

"I want Harrisburg to get a bigger part of this job." [19659002] The figures presented on Sunday are different from a list of courthouse subcontractors provided by PennLive on March 15 by the Federal Administration for General Services, which oversees federal construction projects. Maybe the numbers of Mascaro refer to the dollar value of the contracts awarded so far.

In the GSA list, 11 out of 22 specific contracts were awarded to companies in Lancaster (five), York (three) and Dauphin (three). Besides Harnden had the other companies in the Harrisburg area so far contracts are GSM roofer for the roofing and SA Communale, fire protection equipment.

In total, the 22 contracts previously assigned are, according to figures, attached to a similar list provided to Harrisburg agents last week, for about 87.3 percent of the total potential of $ 128.6 million.

PennLive contacted Mascaro Sunday to clarify his pie chart, but the home offices in Pittsburgh were closed for the weekend.

A big part of Jericho March's "point is of course an alarm for the upcoming settings."

"Dollars can not come into this community and leave this community," said Rev. Franklin Hairston-Allen, President of Greater Harrisburg's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "These dollars must be circulated once, twice, three times, four times, so that every family in the city has a chance," he said.

Two points here.

The GSA has discovered that there are still. More than 40 smaller jobs are still being awarded for tasks as diverse as floor, painting, and insulation work, as well as hanging window coverings.

And secondly, while the majority of the larger subcontracts were awarded, many of the workers will eventually report to the 6th and Reily site.

In fact, several Harrisburg-based African-American companies have confessed that they were too small to have participated in the first contract. Their concern, however, is that they are regarded as submarines of the submarines, since the job is occupied.

"It's impossible that this is a lost cause because 50 percent of people actually work on it. This building does not know it yet," said Dwight Henry, president of Harrisburg-based drywall company Goal Line Construction.

Henry said he will turn to the main dry-settler venture, Smucker Co., formerly owned by US Representative Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, in the near future, and he is confident that his law firm will be run to help them As the inside of the courthouse takes shape

"We've been working together in the past, Smucker and Goal Line," Henry said, "and it has been very successful."

He and others say the marches are now an important step to ensure that these larger companies know this city contractors are interested and available.

"If all hope was lost, then where "I'm not here," said James Brown, owner of a municipal HVAC and mechanical services company that also attended Sunday's march. "I feel like I have a chance (to get court work) and the only reason why this march and stuff …"

"My kids like hot dogs, but I like to feed them with steak I do not think everyone should eat steaks outside of Dauphin County while everyone in the district is eating hot dogs. "

So far, the GSA has been unable to give any information about the objectives of the minority ownership Courthouse project.

The numbers that However, two of the previously awarded subcontracts were awarded to women's companies and one third to a disability veteran owned by Harnden's excavation company.

There are no contracts which were given to minority-owned companies.

Construction of the Federal Court began late last year and the building was opened is scheduled for early 2022.


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