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Posted at 02:19 PM ET, 11/22/2011

Read Wal-Mart’s D.C. community benefits deal


The community benefits deal stands to ease the politics of Wal-Mart’s entry into D.C. (JIM YOUNG - REUTERS)
Wal-Mart and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) have reached a deal on a citywide community benefits agreement, less than a week after the megaretailer announced its intention to open two additional stores in the city.

Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer first had the news; my Post colleague Jonathan O’Connell has an early post up, with more to come.

A full copy of the agreement is after the jump. Here are some of the big “gets” for the city:

— An effort to work with local small and minority-owned businesses to do construction work;

— a citywide workforce development program aimed at “low-income families, minorities, veterans, at-risk youth and formerly incarcerated residents”

— the “expectation of filling a majority of available positions” with city residents;

— $21 million worth of “charitable partnerships”over the next seven years;

— a commitment not to sell guns or ammunition in its D.C. stores and to attempt to provide space for locally sourced products;

— and an embrace of “transportation demand management measures,” including Capital Bikeshare stations, bus shelters, and electric car charging stations.

And here is what’s not in the agreement:

— Specific wage commitments;

— any wage or benefit concession that goes beyond what Wal-Mart would otherwise provide or what District law already requires;

— enforceable goals for the hiring of District residents.

Moreover, the agreement, signed by a Wal-Mart senior vice president, is “subject and contingent upon business conditions.”

All in all, this is not a deal that will quiet Wal-Mart’s most ardent foes. But it does represent on-paper promises from a major employer that is facing fairly minimal political and regulatory hurdles and has been famously reticent to make explicit community promises in the past.

By  |  02:19 PM ET, 11/22/2011

 
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