Written Comments to City Council, May 28, 2024

Agenda Item 9: Workforce Development Strategic Plan 

F3 would like to see the city’s Workforce Development Plan include specific strategies to assist with increasing the local early childhood support workforce to address the identified need for childcare. Likewise, F3 would like to see this document include focus on increasing the local construction workforce to address the focus on infill development outlined in the Regional Plan 2045 Preferred Alternative, and move to the electrification transformation as outlined in the Carbon Neutrality Plan.

F3 suggests the city look to the National League of Cities (NLC) efforts to focus on early childhood workforce with an understanding that this ultimately supports the city’s broader workforce by giving workers the ability to hold jobs without the burdens of child care.

NLC has been working with the City of Phoenix for the last four years, for instance, using the Cities Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative. This initiative is helping local leaders strengthen support for the early childhood workforce in their communities. Phoenix is looking directly to their city workforce to align existing policies, programs, and practices, and city departments have established a cohesive support framework focused upon the needs of young children, their families, and the early childhood workforce. What strategies can the City of Flagstaff put in place? 

The demand for neighborhood infill will be growing in the near future as indicated by the in-progress Draft Regional Plan 2045 Preferred Scenario. A rapidly growing demand is already present in Flagstaff for building retrofits by the modification of existing buildings to be more energy efficient. A focused workforce is needed for these sectors. 

F3 encourages the city to focus directly on building a skilled workforce to meet the growing demand for construction jobs in the building infill and retrofit sector. By partnering with employers, labor organizations, Coconino Community College, and other stakeholders, local elected officials can make a significant impact in creating these well-paying careers to address Flagstaff’s current and future needs. 

Cities are able to positively influence the growth of this workforce in many ways including policy and contracting requirements, providing apprenticeship opportunities by requiring a certain number of registered apprentices on government-funded construction projects, and by creating local incentives for builders who provide infill housing and for those who train Flagstaff’s residents for the green retrofit workforce. 

We recommend incorporating aspects of Growing the Workforce Needed for Building Retrofits: A Guide for U.S. Cities which provides valuable insights and recommendations for local elected officials to maximize potential federal funding and address the workforce needs in the building retrofit sector. 

Thank you.

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