Erie County’s First Source Hiring Policy Expands Region’s Renaissance to Impoverished ZIP Codes

Photo:Guilherme Cunha

If you win a contract with the county, you’re now bound to hire local, and from disadvantaged zip codes

Earlier this month, we spoke with Erie County Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte about the “First Source Hiring Policy” executive order from County Executive Mark C Poloncarz.

While listening to the Capitol Pressroom in late 2017, Susan Arbetter interviewed Mark Poloncarz about the executive order and I immediately went nuts on Twitter about this great idea. The county has a lot of purchasing power. This is a great way to expand the region’s renaissance to underrepresented communities in the city, and in rural areas within the county.

“To foster construction employment opportunities for qualified local residents, unemployed individuals, or otherwise disadvantaged workers on construction projects located within the geographic boundaries of Erie County” is taken

100% of construction projects must be performed by labor from the local 8 counties.
70% of the work hours must be performed by Erie County residents.
20% of the total work hours performed must be worked by residents of Erie County who reside in ZIP codes with a poverty rate of higher than 20%.

There are many zip codes in the city but not all. The program will also accept work hours performed by persons who are defined as a “disadvantaged worker.”

Hear more from Maria Whyte below. This is a fantastic program and we hope to see it expanded in the future. Learn more at: or register with the NYS Dept Labor Database at