Notes from the Durham CAN Metro Assembly

Focus on living wages, hiring local

Four Holy Cross Durham CAN delegated – Elizabeth Deshaies, Yvonne Fisher, Dianne Ponder and Ava Thompson – were among the 650 people atatending the March 21 Durham CAN Metro Assembly. Following is a summary of the meeting provided by Ava Thompson, director of the Peace, Justice and Human Concerns Commission at Holy Cross. 

  1. Durham Mayor, City Council members, County Commissioners, president of Durham Technical Community College, Durham Housing Authority Board members, and representatives from Durham Economic and Workforce Development, Duke University and Health Systems, and Triangle Go Transit were present and made these commitments:
  2. All jobs required for the redevelopment of Durham Housing Authority property, approximately a $566 million investment, will be $15 per hour and hiring Durham Housing Authority residents will be a priority. Currently there is a 60 percent unemployment rate for able-bodied Durham Housing Authority (DHA) residents.
  3. All contractors used for DHA redevelopment will be required to pay their workers $15 per hour.
  4. City officials will require that individuals employed in jobs generated by the proposed $95 million bond referendum for affordable housing, if it passes, will pay at least $15 per hour and local residents will have priority for filling these jobs.
  5. The City Council supports doubling the size of the summer youth employment program.
  6. Duke University has made workforce development a priority. Their executives will travel to John Hopkins University to observe and meeting with staff to learn about its efforts to hire local and generate pathways to living wage jobs.
  7. Duke University will pay a living wage of $15 to eligible employees. They will look in to including workers at their two hotels in this effort. Duke has “banned the box” and no longer requires applicants to disclose their past criminal convictions. Background checks are done after an applicant has been approved for hire.
  8. Durham Technical Community College and the Durham Office of Workforce and Economic Development will collaborate to recruit, support, and connect Durham workers to living wage jobs.
  9. Go Triangle will pay a living wage at least $15 for all transit related jobs.
Tags: Durham Congregations and Neighborhoods, Durham CAN

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