Save81.org is a diverse coalition of concerned citizens, elected officials, employers, unions, and community groups. We are continuously seeking ways to support and better our community. In light of making decisions for the betterment of Syracuse and its residents, we are wholeheartedly supporting the call for the NYSDOT to apply for Special Experimental Project No. 14.
Special Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP-14) is a Department of Transportation pilot program that has, since April of 2015, enabled grant recipients to impose geographic-based hiring preferences on contractors bidding on projects. The pilot program focuses on specific geographics within the labor field. Low-income workers, as well as veterans, will have special preferences if the NYSDOT chooses to apply for SEP-14. If the NYSDOT chooses to take part in SEP-14, there will be a requirement for the contractors completing the project to employ a certain percentage of local residents within their workforce.
As we embark on the journey of the I-81 Project that will shape future generations of Syracuse residents, it is imperative the concerns and needs of the Syracuse community are heard and met. SEP-14 will provide a positive catalyst for our economy, empowering and engaging a larger workforce.
We voice the majority opinion of Syracuse residents in terms of the I-81 project. We are striving to be that voice in topics surrounding the project that are not directly related to maintaining the route of I-81 through the heart of Syracuse. I-81 is a vital transportation backbone for our region, and we believe that altering it would cripple a regional economy already struggling. The revitalization of our economy can begin with this project. We believe that employing our own, local workforce is a key aspect to this project. The only way to assure this empowerment occurs is to apply for SEP-14.