Out of State Workers Recieve Ft. Madison Prison Construction Work

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New information shows that nearly half of the construction jobs created by a new $132 million state prison at Fort Madison went to out-of-state workers.

The Des Moines Register reports that data it obtained shows little more than half of the 888,691 hours worked on the project was done by Iowa construction workers.

The new prison is tentatively set to open in March, and most of the construction is finished.

Scott Norvell, president and chief executive of Master Builders of Iowa, says that if state officials had enforced Iowa’s reciprocal preference law, at least 90 percent of the workforce of the Chicago-based company that built the prison would have been Iowa workers.

Under the law, Iowa firms hired for Illinois public works projects also must use mostly Illinois workers.