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Mayor says SolarCity construction exceeding minority, women hiring goals

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo mayor Byron Brown is encouraging construction laborers to apply for an anticipated tripling of jobs on the SolarCity work site over the next few months. He's also praising what he says is a proven recognition of workforce diversity in the Riverbend project.

Brown joined nearly two dozen workers currently taking part in the construction of SolarCity's massive factory on South Park Avenue. When opened in 2017, officials with the company say it will produce the world's most efficient rooftop solar panels available. The factory, when operational, will create up to 3,000 jobs, according to project supporters.

Right now, 450 people are working on the construction. Mayor Brown says that workforce includes minority and women participants who make up percentages higher than set goals for the respective groups. He read statistics from a July report sent to City Hall by New York State.

"There is 18.41 percent minority hiring, and 5.62 percent women workers that are on the site," Brown said. 

The goals exceed percentages of 15 anda five percent, respectively, set forth in a project labor agreement between developer LP Ciminelli and labor unions.  

Brown said there is also a 10 percent apprenticeship goal for the project, a condition to which unions agree. That, says the mayor, will encourage more minority and women participation in the construction.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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