Orlando Local Hiring Office
What are the goals of the program?
Orlando's Parramore neighborhood is mostly populated by people of color, especially African Americans. Upward of 70 percent of Parramore's children live in poverty and 47 percent of neighborhood adults are without a high school diploma or GED. There also is a disproportionately high percentage of crime which occurs in the neighborhood.
City leaders have sought to address the achievement gap of Black men and boys since 2003. Beginning with initial steps to create awareness and build community buy-in for revitalizing the Parramore neighborhood, the city strategy grew to encompass a placed-based approach which led to the creation of the Parramore Kids Zone to address the significant employment, education and housing disparities facing the community.
How does the program work?
In November 2005, the city council approved the Enterprise Zone Re-designation - Resolution and Interlocal Agreement between City of Orlando and Orange County. This agreement provided the opportunity to start a training and employment effort focused on the Parramore Zone. Following the approval, city leaders established the Blueprint office to help improve employment opportunities for the local residents in the Parramore Zone. The agreements require major redevelopment vendors in Orlando's downtown sports and entertainment facilities (Citrus Bowl, Phillips Performing Arts Center, among others) to hire and provide apprenticeships to neighborhood residents and to make use of subcontracts with local women and minority-owned business registered through the Blueprint Office.
The Blueprint office further developed its goals for the targeted enterprise zones:
1. Support the development and expansion of local, small and historically disadvantaged businesses as an important aspect of the continuing development and prosperity of the community;
2. Develop a local workforce initiative to provide trained workers for new construction projects as well as commercial operations created by development;
3. Collaboratively work with the land developers, property owners, and other community stakeholders to identify and explore long-term business opportunities for residents in the areas affected by development;
4. Explore the creation of mentorship programs for residents in partnership with developers, property owners, vendors who serve the needs of these institutions, and community based organizations; and
5. Identify development tools that will result in creating a wide variety of attainable and market rate housing units that will ensure economic diversity for all residents to work, live, and recreate in the area.
By 2013, 39 percent of development contracts on the Phillips Center alone were made to women and minority owned businesses accounting for $42 million in investment. By that same date, 1,000 local workers had become employed by projects within the jurisdiction of the Blueprint Office.
(Last Modified December 2016)