Campaign to "Hire Local"
"Quad City Built, Quad City Strong" - that's the slogan for a new campaign promoting the benefits of hiring local workers. The campaign, in print, television, on billboards, and in social media is sponsored by Local 25 in Rock Island of the Plumbers and Pipefitters union.
Business Agent, Bill Allison, says a good example is the recent 180 million dollar expansion of the Genesis East hospital complex in Davenport.
"That was done with all local labor. And if you think about 180 million dollars that all stayed right here in the Quad Cities, that's quite the impact."
Construction is one of the largest "industries" in the Quad Cities, with around 9,000 working in the skilled trades - plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and others.
Allison says when workers are brought in from elsewhere, they're sometimes treated badly and not paid well.
"The gentlemen who were building that facility were sleeping in a storage container on site, on Elmore Avenue. They had a makeshift shower built out of a tarp and pallets. I don't think that's anything any Quad citizen would condone."
Current projects employing local union workers include the new train station and hotel in downtown Moline, remodeling Westerlin Hall at Augustana College, and expanding Moline's wastewater treatment plant.