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This report outlines the issues of gig work evaluating its implications for independent cotnracting and job quality.
In The Big Rig: Poverty, Pollution, and the Misclassification of Truck Drivers at America’s Ports, we examined changes in labor practices in the port trucking industry. These changes, originating in the 1970s, have led to the development of an industry characterized by “fierce competition, ever-increasing service requirements, a contingent workforce, poverty level wages, no health care coverage, rampant safety violations, [and] ineffective or illusory enforcement.” Such conditions are now increasingly common among American workers and feature prominently in debates about burgeoning inequality in the country. Our research found the dire working conditions of port truck drivers to have flowed from the practice of treating employees as if they were ‘independent contractors,’ an illegal practice called misclassification. At the time, there were practically no official government investigations to verify our findings despite a host of enforcement agencies being responsible for preventing misclassification.
An ordinance requiring contracting companies to maintain, to the greatest extent possible, a workforce composed of 40% qualified Newark residents.
Local governments can advance energy-efficient technologies and practices in the marketplace by promoting energy efficiency in their own everyday operations, a practice commonly known as "Leading by Example" (LBE). Taking actions to improve the energy efficiency of government-owned and -leased facilities and fleets can accrue multiple benefits for both the government and the people it serves. Energy can account for as much as 10% of a typical local government's annual operating budget. As local governments attempt to act with heightened levels of austerity, implementing cost-effective energy efficiency processes and technologies is a proven solution to reduce unneeded spending.
A policy on obligations of developers and contractors to seek local employees, service providers and businesses to meet their needs.
Clean Energy Works Portland (CEWP) is an innovative effort to deliver affordable home energy upgrades by testing new ways of delivering energy efficiency to homeowners in Portland. The project is intended to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, improve home comfort and home values, and create new jobs and long-term employment opportunties and career paths for Portland area residents.
Anchor institutions are place-based entities such as universities and hospitals that are tied to their surroundings by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, and vendors. These local human and economic relationships link institution well-being to that of the community in which it is anchored. Increasingly, anchor institutions across the nation are realizing this interdependence and are expanding their public or nonprofit mission to incorporate what we call an "anchor mission." In other words, they are consciously applying their long-term, place-based economic power, in combination with their human and intellectual resources, to better the long-term welfare of the communities in which they reside.
Chester, Pennsylvania, a small, formerly industrial city located on the Delaware River, not far from Philadelphia, exemplifies the problems and possibilities faced by older manufacturing cities across the United States, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. Chester's problems of poverty, stagnation, and unemployment stem from the late 20th-century decline of an industrial economy in the United States - which in Chester was primarily centered on automobile manufacturing and shipbuilding - and the flight of the more affluent residents to the suburbs. The remaining residents face high poverty, high unemployment, a crumbling infrastructure, lack of services and businesses, and underperforming schools. There is hope, however. Although the Federal Reserve Bank classifies Chester as a "struggling city," Chester also embodies the possibilities in the concept of resilience defined as "the individual and collective capacity to respond to adversity and change." The project of turning Chester around is a work in progress, but Chester is also a community that has taken intentional action "to enhance the personal and collective capacity of its citizens and institutions to respond to and influence the course of social and economic change." In fact, Chester, and one of its key partners in community revitalization, Widener University, can serve as a case study of what building resilience can look like in the face of daunting challenges.
Major economic development projects and infrastructure investment can present both tremendous opportunities and significant threats for communities and residents. Using a community benefits approach, as a local government official you have powerful tools available to ensure that these projects provide the greatest social, economic and environmental benefits while also not harming surrounding neighborhoods. In short, community benefits are assets available through economic development that meet real community needs. Examples include community access to living wage jobs, affordable housing, health and community services and open space.