Bills giving preference for Philadelphia residents on city contracts on hold

After debating a pair of bills that would help Philadelphia residents find employment, City Council tabled them until Monday.

For city contracts valued $150,000 or more, the first bill would set a goal of having Philadelphia residents perform half the non-professional work needed.

Councilmembers weigh in

Councilman Bill Green said he and his colleagues could not agree to extend the bill to professional services.

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“There may be an engineer from Hawaii that is needed to work on a bridge,” said Green. “We just have to hire the best possible person to perform the professional services.”

Councilman Mark Squilla said he wants the bill expanded to professional-service contracts.

“We have obviously a lot of unemployed college professional graduates here,” said Squilla. “Sending the message that professional people can live outside the city sends the wrong message.”

The second bill will require businesses who receive city funding to interview at least 10 Philadelphia residents when hiring.

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