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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The proposed modernization of Sun Life Stadium hasn’t been finalized but the Miami Dolphins organization is moving forward and planning a job fair to makes sure the project has a diverse local workforce.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Sun Life Stadium and Operation 305 will work with South Florida Workforce, which will serve as a digital clearinghouse for interested applicants.

“Modernizing Sun Life Stadium will create thousands of jobs for Miami-Dade and pump millions of dollars into the local economy,” said Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. “To ensure that the benefits of this project stay in Miami-Dade, we will be working with Operation 305 and local business leaders to recruit local small businesses and local workers for the construction and ensure that we are hiring a diverse Miami-Dade workforce for this project.”

Operation 305 is an initiative among residents and businesses to ensure that proposed stadium renovation construction jobs stay within the community and the 305 area code.

Dee said the project would create an estimated 4,000 construction-related jobs.

Seventy percent of those jobs would stay in Miami-Dade County, Dee said.

“With Miami-Dade’s unemployment rate at nearly 10-percent, our community needs the thousands of jobs that the Sun Life Stadium modernization will create,” said Christopher Hodgkins of Operation 305.

The group was initially created to find local workers to build the Port of Miami Access Tunnel.

“What we hope to do is use as a model what we’ve done on the Port Miami Tunnel,” Hodgkins said. “We wanted the workforce and vendors and subcontractors to be a mirror of the community.”

Because of the deal reached between the county and the Miami Dolphins, the goal is to keep the jobs in Miami-Dade County, as opposed to neighboring Broward County.

While Dee said ten percent f the jobs will stay in Miami Gardens, where the stadium is located, other cities plan to reap the rewards of the project as well.

“When we talk about South Florida, it’s hard to start deciding Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Sweetwater,” said Mandy Llanes of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. We all benefit.”

Twenty percent of the jobs would go to those eligible for Community Development Block Grants, according to Dee.

“At the end of the day this is not just about inclusion. It’s about economic development in some of the most hard hit areas in our community,” said Bill Diggs of the Miami-Dade County Chamber of Commerce.

Several job fairs are in the works to find qualified labor.

The first Operation 305 Opportunity Fair will take place between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Thursday, May 2nd at Sun Life Stadium and will allow applicants to register with South Florida Workforce for stadium modernization project opportunities. Attendees can also participate in interview and resume workshops and learn about other employment opportunities that are currently available with the Dolphins, Sun Life Stadium, and many of their largest vendors.

Miami-Dade County residents interested in attending may pre-register

On Monday, the Florida Senate voted in favor of a bill that grants a sales tax exemption and allows Miami-Dade County voters to decide on using tourist dollars to help with those proposed stadium renovations.

Early voting started Monday for the May 14 referendum.

The bill now goes to the House but the clock is running with the Legislature scheduled to end its session Friday.

If the bill is not brought up in the House, the measure will be defeated.


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