Rox meeting addresses jobs at Ferdinand site

Sandra Larson | 11/1/2011, 7:58 p.m.

During the question period, some skepticism was expressed, but also ideas and recommendations.

One attendee suggested a flow chart that shows where people can enter the job pool. “And if you don’t get the job, it would show where to go next,” he said. “So nobody gets bumped out of the loop. And so there’s some accountability.”

Another elaborated on this idea. He requested that the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) create something visible to track which companies would be hiring and when, in which segments of the industry, and how many jobs they should have for local residents.

“The Ferdinand building could be the pilot” to fix the issue of people not knowing about jobs in time, he said.

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz spoke up on the issue of better information flow to the community. She suggested using all possible media to publicize job information — Facebook, Twitter, the Bay State Banner, radio. She goes on Touch 106.1 radio every month, she noted, and wants to invite people involved with the Ferdinand project to appear with her to talk about upcoming jobs.

Shelley Webster, the black female owner of Centaur Construction Services, spoke about how valuable it is to get a local minority firm in, because that firm will bring in like workers. Her company exceeded minority and local hiring goals in their part of the Dudley Square Elderly Housing Development, she said.

The next Task Force meeting, on Nov. 16, will be an update on the Ferdinand project design. The following meeting on Dec. 15 is slated to be about transportation.

But Task Force members said the jobs issue was too “hot” to put aside. Dana Whiteside, Dudley Vision project manager, said the December meeting topic could be switched to jobs, and/or an extra meeting on jobs may be scheduled for late November.