barbara_jordan_web.jpgMIAMI — On Tuesday, May 1, Miami-Dade commissioners passed an ordinance creating the First Source Hiring Referral Program, designed to give qualified Miami-Dade residents a first crack at available county contract jobs.

The ordinance, sponsored by Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, establishes a databank of job seekers and their skill sets that businesses awarded county contracts can tap into in order to fill positions necessary to fulfill that contract. 

The First Source Hiring Referral Program will be facilitated by the South Florida Workforce Investment Board (SFWIB) through any one of their career centers, refugee centers and community and faith based partners.

The contractor, prior to hiring for vacancies arising under a county contract, must first notify the SFWIB of the vacancy and list the job opening with the agency. All job postings must contain a detailed description of the job responsibilities and qualifications, and be posted during the referral period.

The SFWIB would then provide a list of qualified candidates, if such candidates are available, to the contractor within 24 hours of receiving the vacancy notice.

Once the SFWIB sends the contractor the resumes of qualified applicants, the contractor would review each candidate and make a good faith effort as determined by the county to fill a minimum of 50 percent of its employment needs under the county contract from the First Source Register. However, if a suitable employee is not found during a referral period of three to five days, the contractor is free to fill its vacancies from other sources.

“This was a collaborative effort between People Acting for Community Together and my office,” said Commissioner Jordan, who has made unemployment a priority. “We must exhaust all efforts to get this community back to work. Now that the commission has green-lighted this legislation, we can move forward on identifying other initiatives that will increase employment.”

The county contracts “are paid for with taxpayer dollars and should be used to promote job growth in Miami-Dade County, where many residents are struggling to find employment,” Jordan aded. “This referral program will not only assist residents in finding jobs, but will also address other issues caused by high unemployment rates, such as foreclosure, dependence on costly social services, and crime.” 

For the nearest employment center, call the South Florida Workforce Investment Board at 305-594-7615. Visit the website at