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Old 06-07-2017, 07:32 AM   #1
West
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Hiring quotas and goals in local construction projects

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Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
more bad news for the evil developer/s.....

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...p4M/story.html

1. Water is still wet
2. Fire is still hot
3. A Boston developer / GC team fell short of diversity hiring goals
4. The City of Boston did not punish the developer
5. The City, developer, and GC are promising to try harder next time
6. Not one quote from any single trade union representative in which the trade union promises to try harder....


Rinse, repeat, with emphasis on point 6.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

Yup on point 6. The article to its credit did make mention of it but I don't see what the developers are supposed to do. Hire non-union labor so you have more control over who's working the project and the city as well as the newspaper will go berserk. Hire union labor which I suspect most big jobs do and you're at the mercy of who they send over. It could be since this state and surrounding states are lily white relatively speaking that there aren't enough people to fill the minority hiring goals. I'm curious though if anybody held Wynn for example to the same standards.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
more bad news for the evil developer/s.....

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...p4M/story.html
Must be a real slow news day at the Globe. What a yawn of a story.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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Originally Posted by Rover View Post
Yup on point 6. The article to its credit did make mention of it but I don't see what the developers are supposed to do. Hire non-union labor so you have more control over who's working the project and the city as well as the newspaper will go berserk. Hire union labor which I suspect most big jobs do and you're at the mercy of who they send over. It could be since this state and surrounding states are lily white relatively speaking that there aren't enough people to fill the minority hiring goals. I'm curious though if anybody held Wynn for example to the same standards.
This is specific to the City of Boston.

Not sure if Wynn faces a similar situation in Everett.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:34 AM   #5
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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It could be since this state and surrounding states are lily white relatively speaking that there aren't enough people to fill the minority hiring goals.
This is substantially less true than it once was, and is becoming less true with each passing year.

MA is estimated at 75% white non-Hispanic in 2016, and that's falling.

Boston is about 55% white non-Hispanic in 2016, also falling.

Now some of the building trade unions? Now THERE you can find some lily white membership rolls. (I said some, not all)

ETA: So, my point being, there's an increasing number of minorities in Boston itself, and in some surrounding towns (Chelsea springs to mind), the percentages are even higher than Boston. It's not a shortage of non-white workers in the area generally that has projects perpetually below goals, it's a shortage of non-white workers in the construction and trade unions.

If one follows union politics, one can see a lot of tension around this. Plenty of unions outside of the construction trades have broadened their base a lot more, and there's growing impatience with the construction trades amongst those unions. This gets into the training issue: I've seen construction unions try to defend themselves with arguments along the lines of "none of those immigrants or other minorities have the necessary training", to which the answer comes back "the unions have substantial control over and/or influence on who gets into the training programs". I would say that the biggest rift I can identify within the union world generally is the split between the construction trades unions and everyone else (and yes, this is an oversimplification....).

And all that is just on the minority hiring front, as for the hiring of women in the construction trades, there's obviously not a shortage of women around.

Last, there's the goal of hiring Boston residents, which seems futile. Some plumber moves from Boston to wherever else, why should he get penalized on what jobs he can work on? There's no other city in MA that can even think of having such a high goal for intra-city hiring, since no one else has anywhere remotely enough construction workers in their city limits to meet any high goal. So for just Boston to set this goal, and fail to meet it again and again, seems like just throwing a "requirement" in front of developers, knowing that it won't be met.

Last edited by West; 06-07-2017 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

Boston is a minority majority city. Meaning the minority groups combined are the majority of the population.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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Originally Posted by Rover View Post
Yup on point 6. The article to its credit did make mention of it but I don't see what the developers are supposed to do. Hire non-union labor so you have more control over who's working the project and the city as well as the newspaper will go berserk. Hire union labor which I suspect most big jobs do and you're at the mercy of who they send over. It could be since this state and surrounding states are lily white relatively speaking that there aren't enough people to fill the minority hiring goals. I'm curious though if anybody held Wynn for example to the same standards.
Like West said, that doesn't really feel like the issue. There are lots of underemployed non-white people running around who'd love a good job in the trades.

I think it's more about access to those jobs, which begins with training and apprentice programs. It varies some by trade, but a lot of the young (white) people who go into union construction come from union construction families themselves. They've got a dad in the trade or an uncle who's a union subcontractor, and that gets them in the door. It's also on their radar screen as a good career in a way it might not be if you're not in that world. It's self-fulfilling, to a degree.

The trades know this and know they've got a perception problem. They talk a lot about outreach in minority neighborhoods, high schools, etc. Hard to know how much of that is real and how much is lip service, of course. But eventually Boston's union construction industry should start to look more like Boston does.
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:21 PM   #8
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

It is an issue to hit 40% minority participation even if unions didn't exist. From the census estimates themselves, Boston is 54% and 9% Asian. An important distinction depending on whether Asians are considering minorities. Don't know that answer to that but something to keep in mind. That means the non-white, non Asian population is no more than 37% of the Boston population, yet the goal is 40% participation in the project. Seems high.

For Mass, again from census, whities are 82% of population and Asians 7%. That means 11% of state is non-white non-Asian. Again benchmarked against a 40% participation goal, which certainly is worthwhile, but may be unrealistic and not a reason to hold up the project.

Can't tell you what the current make up of unions are but I can easily see the argument that people follow their parents into the trade, and if that's so it would end up predominantly white. I believe police departments struggle with this phenomenon as well.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/25
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:45 PM   #9
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover View Post
It is an issue to hit 40% minority participation even if unions didn't exist. From the census estimates themselves, Boston is 54% and 9% Asian. An important distinction depending on whether Asians are considering minorities. Don't know that answer to that but something to keep in mind. That means the non-white, non Asian population is no more than 37% of the Boston population, yet the goal is 40% participation in the project. Seems high.

For Mass, again from census, whities are 82% of population and Asians 7%. That means 11% of state is non-white non-Asian. Again benchmarked against a 40% participation goal, which certainly is worthwhile, but may be unrealistic and not a reason to hold up the project.

Can't tell you what the current make up of unions are but I can easily see the argument that people follow their parents into the trade, and if that's so it would end up predominantly white. I believe police departments struggle with this phenomenon as well.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/25
Asians are considered minorities for this calculation (for most calculations in the US).

One of the big barriers cited by the trade unions is English language skills. I know in Chinatown, support groups have made efforts to teach new immigrants not just English, but Construction Terminology English to give them a leg up in entering the various trade training programs.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:14 PM   #10
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

^^if the above conversation were ever allowed to spiral down into the cesspool known as real life, the data would be denounced by the marxist social engineers of the post-industrial world who always know better than anyone who has ever had to run a business and meet a payroll.

We must never again endeavor to be a society where people's earnings are reflective of ambition; re; those who show the greatest desire to work or for their finely honed skills, AND for their long standing record of professionality, attendence and sobriety.... because dammit, everyone must be made equal–OR ELSE.

And people wonder why no air rights projects since 1911....

or why we have the highest construction costs in the entire WORLD.

Because; WE MUST seek the lowest common denominator in our race to the bottom, and cause housing prices to spiral ever the more out of sight..... because, everyone must be made equal.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3048722/...bitious-people

Quote:
Originally Posted by BospoliOperator
Most big companies like Millennium who care (or are forced to care) about PR just hire someone to sit on the site who meets the quotas. For instance, a hispanic woman from Roslindale would check all three boxes (minority, female, and City resident). So for a billion dollar project like Winthrop Square, its customary to build a few of those salaries into the construction cost and assume that person is basically a "show up but don't work" job (I'm not saying thats right, I'm just saying thats how its done), snap a few pictures for twitter and facebook, and everyone's happy.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover View Post
It is an issue to hit 40% minority participation even if unions didn't exist. From the census estimates themselves, Boston is 54% and 9% Asian. An important distinction depending on whether Asians are considering minorities. Don't know that answer to that but something to keep in mind. That means the non-white, non Asian population is no more than 37% of the Boston population, yet the goal is 40% participation in the project. Seems high.

For Mass, again from census, whities are 82% of population and Asians 7%. That means 11% of state is non-white non-Asian. Again benchmarked against a 40% participation goal, which certainly is worthwhile, but may be unrealistic and not a reason to hold up the project.

Can't tell you what the current make up of unions are but I can easily see the argument that people follow their parents into the trade, and if that's so it would end up predominantly white. I believe police departments struggle with this phenomenon as well.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/25
Boston is 46% white, 9% Asian, 22% black, 18% Hispanic, per most recent BRA data (which I believe is taken from Census data).
http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...1-9b41cdf59cf8

So the non-white, non-Asian population is at least 40%. For what that's worth.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
^^if the above conversation were ever allowed to spiral down into the cesspool known as real life, the data would be denounced by the marxist social engineers of the post-industrial world who always know better than anyone who has ever had to run a business and meet a payroll.

We must never again endeavor to be a society where people's earnings are reflective of ambition; re; those who show the greatest desire to work or for their finely honed skills, AND for their long standing record of professionality, attendence and sobriety.... because dammit, everyone must be made equal–OR ELSE.

And people wonder why no air rights projects since 1911....

or why we have the highest construction costs in the entire WORLD.

Because; WE MUST seek the lowest common denominator in our race to the bottom, and cause housing prices to spiral ever the more out of sight..... because, everyone must be made equal.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3048722/...bitious-people
I don't know. Feels like if we were seeking the "lowest common denominator in our race to the bottom," we'd tell the unions to get bent and go hire a bunch of undocumented immigrants and pay them half as much with no benefits. But then we wouldn't have "the highest construction costs in the entire WORLD."
Get your beefs straight.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:43 PM   #13
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

^^You just 'splained Houston/Atlanta/Austin's Ghost tower business model for the past 2 decades.
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:39 PM   #14
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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And people wonder why no air rights projects since 1911....
Huh? The entire Prudential center was basically an air rights project, and that wasn't built in 1911, and we have multiple air rights projects on the table right now.
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:47 PM   #15
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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......and we have multiple air rights projects on the table right now.
I can't speak to the rest of Odurandina's quote, but there have been a few air rights proposals throughout the last 10-20 years and every one of them has fallen through. I'll believe it when I see something built.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:43 PM   #16
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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Huh? The entire Prudential center was basically an air rights project, and that wasn't built in 1911, and we have multiple air rights projects on the table right now.
Also Copley Place in 1984. That's just a really wrong statement.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:44 PM   #17
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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I can't speak to the rest of Odurandina's quote, but there have been a few air rights proposals throughout the last 10-20 years and every one of them has fallen through. I'll believe it when I see something built.
Sure, but it hasn't been 100+ years is the point I am making. Plus there was like the Star Market over the Pike and maybe a few others (mainly also in the 60s). Isn't one of the new building over on the Greenway also basically an air right project over 93?
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:54 PM   #18
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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Also Copley Place in 1984. That's just a really wrong statement.
I think this was the last one. Which means it has been 33 years and counting since a successful air rights project in Boston.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:59 PM   #19
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

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I think this was the last one. Which means it has been 33 years and counting since a successful air rights project in Boston.
Which is a fine point, but 106 years as stated is much longer than 33 years. You could maybe round it to 50, but 1911 is just a wrong & foolish statement.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:00 PM   #20
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Re: 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

I love how when I tune back in after work we're somehow talking about air rights on the 115 Winthrop thread.
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