Contractor concerns remain over nursing home project

County touts increased apprenticeships, focus on minority workers

— Wright said any problems the PLA solves stems from working with unions.

“If we were not dealing with unions we wouldn’t have some of these problems to begin with,” she said. “My confidence in you all as a governing body has been irrevocably shaken.”

Minority contractor Treasure Clayton urged the legislature to remove the PLA to open job opportunities for workers outside of unions.

“We have a lot of minority who like to be employed, who are qualified for these jobs, but if you have to hire union workers they don’t get the jobs that they deserve,” Clayton said. “If you could implement it, you can remove it.”

Minority contractor Joseph Riley said he spends 80 percent of his time on Albany housing projects even though he lives in Schenectady.

“You go downtown and you see no minorities down there even with a job,” Riley said. “You’re talking about forty-some dollars an hour. You know how much difference that would make to the average family?”

Riley urged the Legislature to not award contracts until companies meet requirements for minority participation.

“One thing people understand is money,” he said.

Clayton on Tuesday, March 27, said she has tried to meet with a legislator, but so far has been unsuccessful. She said nothing has changed with the PLA agreement.

“We are trying to address the city officials, county legislators and the mayor so we can have equal opportunities and be a part of the building process in our community,” Clayton said. “We are trying to make sure that state and county agencies take accountability and responsibility for the position that they hold, so that we can all work together.”

Although little progress has been made in her push, she is hopeful county officials will listen to her pleas.

“I am not sure anything will change, but I know change is possible,” she said.

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