James McHugh Construction Co., together with Magellan Development Group, Related Midwest, and Sterling Bay, today convened nearly 100 members of the Chicago construction industry to unveil changes to company hiring practices, which become effective immediately.
Leadership from McHugh Construction invited major Chicago-area developers, and representatives from the Chicago Department of Planning, Chicago Building Trades Council, ComEd, United Way, and several prominent construction subcontractors to discuss the importance of increasing participation by minority and women-owned businesses and promoting neighborhood and community hires as a way to enhance representation on developments across Chicago.
“Our organizations are committed to promoting diversity on our job sites, and that begins and ends with our hiring practices,” said Michael Meagher, senior vice president for McHugh Construction. “We are not interested in simply meeting city hiring objectives, but in creating meaningful and long-lasting career opportunities for residents of the City of Chicago.”
In 2017, Mayor Emanuel signed Executive Order No. 2017-2, which outlined the City’s ongoing efforts to record and assess the participation of City residents and minority and women-owned businesses on area construction sites. Today’s meeting formally introduced new, self-imposed hiring mandates by McHugh and the hundreds of subcontractors it engages for projects across the Midwest.
“We are now strongly encouraging subcontractors to give preference to City residents and minority and women-owned businesses, on both public and private projects,” said Meagher. “And we’re continuing to forge partnerships with organizations like ComEd’s CONSTRUCT program that help develop the next generation of construction workers, providing more economic opportunity to Chicago residents who need it most while simultaneously addressing the shortage of skilled workers.”
The move to fundamentally shift hiring practices, including on private developments, was initiated without any formal City mandates, which currently apply only to public projects requiring approval by the Planning Commission.