Reps. Kim, Garamendi, Norcross and Cook Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Boost Local Construction Hiring

May 8, 2020
Press Release

Reps. Kim, Garamendi, Norcross and Cook Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Boost Local Construction Hiring

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03), Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), and Congressman Paul Cook (CA-08) introduced the bipartisan Put Our Neighbors to Work Act, which would create more opportunities for local hiring from military construction projects.

The Put Our Neighbors to Work Act would increase opportunities for local jobs from military construction project by increasing transparency and awareness of military construction projects of over $250,000. In addition, a preference will be given to contractors within the same state, or within 60 miles of the construction project.

“Working New Jerseyans have been hit hard during this economic crisis, and we need to do everything we can to help them recover,” said Congressman Kim. “This bill would help ensure that the money from construction projects coming to our Joint Base stays in our community. It’ll result in jobs and opportunities for our local building trades, and a path forward for so many working families across our state.”

“Together, Vice-Chairman Kim and I are working to ensure that union workers and small businesses are at the front of the line for multi-million dollar construction projects on military basses, especially during the current economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman John Garamendi, chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, which has jurisdiction over all U.S. military bases, installations, and buildings. “Local workers are ready, able, and willing to do the job of rebuilding our nation’s military installations, and I am thrilled to be an original cosponsor of this critical legislation. Vice-Chairman Kim has proven himself to be both an extremely effective member of our Subcommittee and champion for New Jersey workers and small businesses. We will be making his bipartisan ‘Put Our Neighbors to Work Act’ a top priority in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.” 

“Our nation’s economy is facing new challenges brought on by the coronavirus, and our workers need support,” said Congressman Norcross. “This bill would ensure local small businesses are aware of the open opportunities within our community at the Joint Base. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues in support of this initiative, which will increase transparency and level the playing field for local workers, small businesses and subcontractors.”

"This unprecedented public health crisis has upended our way of life and caused severe economic distress for families and communities across the country,” said Congressman Cook. “The Put Our Neighbors to Work Act will increase transparency and ensure more opportunities for local businesses. I thank my colleagues for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with them to pass this bipartisan legislation."

The full bill text can be found here, and a summary of the bill can be found here.