Construction Careers Goals
Bringing Good, Green Jobs to Our Communities
As one of the most important sources of employment, the construction industry is central to the creation of a new economy. LAANE began the Construction Careers campaign to ensure that all public works construction jobs in our region are good jobs, that local residents have the opportunity to enter a skilled profession and that the construction industry rebuilds the nation’s clean infrastructure.
The centerpiece of this project is the Construction Careers Policy, which has two components: a Project Labor Agreement and a targeted or local hire requirement. Project Labor Agreements are partnerships between industry—most often developers—and the building trade unions. These agreements guarantee certain standards for workers on the job, such as access to quality health care and middle-class wages. Developers gain a highly trained workforce trained via apprenticeship programs, which means that projects are completed in a safe, timely manner by skilled workers.
The targeted or local hire element of every Construction Careers Policy ensures that at least 30 percent of the total workforce comes from low-income communities and/or communities most directly affected by the development. 10 percent of that workforce is comprised of disadvantaged workers—individuals who face high barriers to employment, including extreme poverty, lack of a high school diploma or a criminal conviction, amongst others. Due to the targeted or local hire requirement, many communities who have never before had access to construction careers have now able to enter union apprenticeship programs which provide lifelong skills.
What is LAANE doing now to make Construction Careers successful?
As LA starts to build public works projects like the Crenshaw line, Construction Careers has begun “The Pipeline”, a new program designed to connect disadvantaged communities to these construction jobs. “The Pipeline” program was created in summer 2012 to fill the gap between communities with high unemployment and meaningful construction career opportunities which have resulted from recent investment our communities, including the Crenshaw rail line.
The educational program consists of public outreach, including job forums, informational booklets, and multimedia in order to connect disadvantaged communities to good construction jobs. Community organizations will increase middle class opportunities by leading outreach and education efforts through the program.
In 2008, LAANE and its allies achieved the adoption of the first ever Construction Careers and Green Jobs Policy at the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA). The policy was the first time in the nation that a Project Labor Agreement and local hire requirements were tied together to privately developed projects which receive funding from local government. Its groundbreaking status highlights Los Angeles as a leader in the effort to strengthen America’s middle class. LAANE also advocated for the passage of Healthy Neighborhoods Policies throughout the city, which require that infrastructure and buildings be constructed using the newest green building standards.
In 2010, the LA City Department of Public Works adopted a $2 billion PLA and Local Hire Agreement.
In 2011, the Port of Los Angeles and the Exposition Line Authority, Phase 2 all adopted Construction Careers Policies, totaling $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion worth of work, respectively.
In January 2012, LAANE won a national precedent setting Construction Careers Policy adopted by the Metro Board for a $6 billion investment in transit construction jobs with a landmark Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approval.
Los Angeles may be the first city to enact a Construction Careers Policy, but it will certainly not be the last: organizations in San Diego, Milwaukee and Atlanta are working to implement similar programs. Much as LAANE’s pioneering work in crafting one of the first living wage ordinances began a wave of similar legislation across the country, so too will the Construction Careers Policy in Los Angeles serve as a national model for rebuilding our middle class, greening our neighborhoods and ensuring that the most disadvantaged people have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
Construction Careers is a project that brings together community, faith and labor groups committed to ensuring that the construction industry generates career-path jobs for L.A.’s most disadvantaged residents. Click here for a complete list of our coalition partners.