Concerns over new Harrisburg federal courthouse subcontractor contracts

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - Some people in Dauphin County are not happy with who will be building the new federal courthouse. Some county and city officials, along with local union workers say the federal government is not committed to hiring local workers for the nearly $200 million job.

County labor workers spent Wednesday outside Harrisburg city and county buildings and the site of the new federal courthouse. They handed out flyers letting people know local workers are not being used for the job.

"It's a slap in the face to the local community," said Clay Roach, bricklayer at Bricklayer Local Union No. 5 of Pennsylvania.

The flyers explained the U.S. General Services Administration and Mascaro, the Pittsburgh-based general contractor for the project have decided not to use local labor and zero contracts for this project have been awarded to Dauphin County workers.

"What they're doing is bringing out-of-town contractors in and out-of-town workers," said Roach. "They're making their money here and then leaving the city."

With many workers and city and county officials recently made aware of where the bids for subcontractors would be going, a coalition is building. The Harrisburg NAACP, county officials, union workers and city council members publicly stating they are not okay with a lack of commitment to hire local workers for the project. Although they don't have much legal leverage to change what is happening, that doesn't mean they are backing down.

"I think we need to stand for something here," said George Hartwick, Dauphin County Commissioner. "It's about trying to ensure the local resources here going into building this courthouse stay within this community."

Union workers are hoping if nothing else, this will send a message to contractors to hire local on future projects.

Fox43 did reach out to Mascaro for comment but our calls have not been returned.

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