After negotiating with its two unions last week, the University pledged on Friday to hire 1,000 more New Haven residents in the next three years.
The agreement comes one week after a labor protest on Yale’s campus called on Yale-New Haven Hospital to help solve the city’s jobs crisis and employ a greater number of city residents. At last week’s protest, 134 graduate students, union members, and city residents were arrested in an act of civil disobedience targeting YNHH. The new commitment announced Friday builds on Yale’s August pledge to hire 500 additional New Haven residents in the next two years.
“[Yale] is moving in a very, very positive direction,” Reverend Scott Marks, co-founder of the grassroots labor organization New Haven Rising, said at the protest last week.
The agreement represents a partnership between Yale and New Haven Works, a jobs pipeline program started in 2013 that helps city residents find employment. According to the most recent United States Census data, 9 percent of New Haven is unemployed while 25 percent live below the federal poverty line.
On the night of Dec. 11 — the day before the labor protest — the Yale administration held a closed-door meeting with union officials from Local 34 and 35. In this meeting, Yale promised to address the jobs crisis and hire more city residents, Marks told the News last week.
In the agreement, Yale specified that it would target city neighborhoods with the highest rates of unemployment and poverty when hiring.
New Haven Works Executive Director Melissa Mason said that of the 1,000 full-time, permanent jobs promised by Yale, 500 of those will be directed towards residents of the Hill, Dwight, West River, West Rock, Newhallville, Dixwell, and Fair Haven. The three-year timeline for this agreement will begin Jan. 1, Mason said.
Union leaders had criticized the previous agreement made in August because they said it failed to focus hiring from New Haven’s poorest neighborhoods.
University President Peter Salovey said in a statement Friday that hiring New Haven residents is essential to improving the city economically.