Phila. City Council passes hire-in-Philly rule

Philadelphia would lose a state House seat while Chester county would gain one under a plan tentatively approved by a legislative commission charged with redrawing the state's House and Senate districts. (AP PHOTO)

Private firms and contractors that do at least $25,000 in City of Philadelphia-funded business or receive city financial assistance will have to agree to try to hire "first-time entry-level workers" from a list of city residents, to do city-funded work, instead of using out-of-town or suburban employees, under legislation passed unanimously in City Council today.

Firms are free to hire off the city list if they can't find city workers within 10 days of starting their search. The bill also requires contractors to list "job requirements" so the city can collect data on the kind of jobs employers want to fill.

The bill looks like a compromise between an early Bill Green (D-At Large)-backed bill that would require at least half of tradespeople and non-professional workers hired by city contractors to be city residents, and objections by critics, including Jim Kenney (D-At Large), who said it was unfair to apply such a blanket law to blue-collar workers but not to college-educated professional employees.

Green was lead sponsor of the revised bill, which awaits action by Mayor Nutter.