Broward County, FL – In Broward County 54,000 people are unemployed.  Some areas of the county have unemployment rates as high as 28%.  This presents a challenge for parents trying to feed their families and stay in their homes.  At the same time, Broward County’s Commission spends over $2 billion every 5 years on county contracts.  These are contracts paid for with Broward County citizens’ tax money, but there have historically been no policies requiring that companies hire local residents.  Local hiring agreements have been shown nationwide to get people back to work and to benefit the local economy as a whole, since these employees that live in Broward are more likely to spend that money in Broward.  BOLD Justice pushed for over two years to get the County Commission to pass the “Workforce Investment Act.”  This ordinance stipulates that company receiving county contract worth $500,000 or more is required to: 1) for a period of 5 days exclusively interview Broward County Residents (after that time they can interview whomever they want), and 2) make a good faith effort to fill 50% of new positions with people traditionally “hard to hire.”  Hard to hire includes: veterans, people who are economically disadvantaged, long term unemployed, people with felony convictions, people who did not graduate high school, people who have been homeless for the last 6 months, and people with a mental or physical disability.  The Workforce Investment Act was voted into law at the April 8, 2014 County Commission meeting after two and a half years of pushing from BOLD Justice. This new policy went into effect January 1, 2015 and has already impacted $230 million worth of county contracts.