Memo for fiscal year 2021, updated 2020-02-20

[Archived] Question # 14: What would it cost the City to create a First Source Hiring program?


What would it cost the City to create a First Source Hiring program? (Mayor Wilson, Vice Mayor Bennett-Parker)


In response to a memo (attached) from Mayor Wilson and Vice-Mayor Bennett-Parker concerning their advocacy for the City creating a First Source hiring program, the following information is provided:

Background: A First Source hiring program would require City contractors who are located in the Washington Metropolitan area to give consideration to hiring City residents through a process that would be managed largely by the DCHS Workforce Development Center (WDC).  The Federal government and some other localities in the US have such a program in place. The City has the authority to make the utilization of a First Source program a mandatory contract condition when it issues RFP’s or other bid solicitation documents.  The type of contract (professional service, construction, trades services, etc.) can be defined by the City, as well as the dollar threshold for which a First Source program would be a contract condition.  If enacted, it would be recommended that First Source be phased in to get the program set up appropriately and therefore implemented successfully.  The program would not apply to the purchase of commodities, equipment, small purchases and contracts, or for contractors whose hiring would be based in the D.C. area. 

Process: If a First Source hiring program is funded, the City of Alexandria Workforce Development Center (WDC) would serve as the primary intermediary between job seekers and contractors, as well as pertinent City agencies that issue contracts. WDC estimates that it will need one First Source Hire Specialist (FSHS) in order to successfully execute these new responsibilities. The position classification would be Employment & Training Specialists (ETS) Grade 14. Annual salary is estimated at $59,660 ($85,000 including benefits).

Once a contractor is awarded a contract with the City, the contractor would have a predetermined period within which to submit its hiring plan to the FSHS.  The FSHS would provide orientation to the contractor on how the First Source hiring process works including points of contact, reporting requirements, services available to businesses and job seekers as well as any other information that will help the contractor in the process.

The FSHS would provide resumes and other pertinent information to the Contractor’s point of contact within a designated time. Depending on the need of the employer, the FSHS may also organize a customized hiring event for additional candidates in cases where specific skills are unavailable within the First Source Hire Registry. The FSHS would actively work throughout the process to ensure qualifying residents are matched with the list of vacancies posted by the contractor. In certain situations, supportive and retention services could be provided for candidates referred by WDC based on need.

The FSHS would continue to work with the contractors and the Procurement Office to ensure compliance with the First Source hiring program. In general, the FSHS responsibilities include but not limited to the following: 

Cost: DCHS has determined that the cost to administer this program would be $85,000 per year as it would require the addition of one Employment and Training Specialist to the WDC.  This new position is not funded in the FY 2021 Proposed Budget.  A part-time position would not be sufficient to manage the program appropriately according to DCHS. Based on the outcomes reported by the DC government’s First Source hiring program, for each $10 million in First Source required contracts the hiring total of City residents would be approximately 45 residents hired.  In 2019, the City issued about $20 million for 29 competitively bid contracts with a value of $100,000 or more. 24 of those 29 contracts were between $100,000 and $500,000 in value.  If Council funds and approves a First Source hiring program, staff would establish the processes needed implement the program   that includes a   phase in period. 


Attachment 1: First Source Hiring Memo from Mayor and Vice Mayor

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