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Jobs forum Wednesday in Gary

Freeman-Wilson

Freeman-Wilson

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If you go

What: Jobs and compliance forum

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Gary Genesis Center, 5th Avenue and Broadway

Updated: January 6, 2013 6:38PM



GARY — As construction and demolition projects heat up around the city where the unemployment rate is nearly 13 percent, questions are arising about local hiring practices at projects funded with tax dollars.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson plans to address the job issues at a 5:30 p.m. forum Wednesday at the Genesis Center at 5th Avenue and Broadway.

U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, a Merrillville Democrat, also plans to attend.

“This forum is meant to educate the public on how compliance works,” Freeman-Wilson said. “We want Gary residents to be considered for employment on the major projects that are coming to our city, and we want them to be prepared.”

In November, a local group called the Gary Fair Jobs Project led a protest at the site of a federally funding sewer project near 7th Avenue and Clay Street in the Glen Ryan subdivision. The group complained that local black workers were not hired for the project.

Freeman-Wilson said Wednesday’s forum will explain the various requirements built into federal, state and local projects.

“Each entity has certain minimal requirements. Federal contracts and state require 5 percent be women and minorities. The city has a 60 percent local hiring requirement.”

The mayor said the forum is intended for people interested in jobs, for contractors and for people who are disenchanted with the requirements. She said officials from TravelCenters of America LLC who are opening a $20 million Petro Stopping Center at 3001 Grant St. will be at the forum to discuss permanent job opportunities.

“I hope it answers questions, gets people engaged, and gets people involved in job training,” said Freeman-Wilson of the forum.



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