Harbor Commission Approves the Port of Los Angeles Construction Careers Policy and Project Labor Agreement Covering Projects Worth $1.5 Billion

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For Immediate Release
March 17, 2011

Contact
:
Nick Sifuentes (310) 866-1692

Program will create 6,000 career-track jobs for local Los Angeles residents

LOS ANGELES – After previous unanimous votes in favor of the Construction Careers Policy for the Port of Los Angeles, the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of a new agency-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that sets out job standards for the Port of Los Angeles, ensuring that 6,000 construction jobs on public projects are pathways to middle-class careers.

The Port of Los Angeles Construction Careers Policy will create an estimated 6,000 good jobs and cover a total of $1.5 billion worth of work. These departmental construction projects focus primarily on developing and modernizing the Port’s infrastructure. The Construction Careers Policy, which passed unanimously in June 2010, mandates that 30% of the jobs created go to local area residents and that 10% go to disadvantaged residents, which include single parents, individuals without a high school diploma, those who have received public assistance. Local residents who are hired on applicable Port construction projects will join multi-year apprenticeship programs in the building trades unions.

Thursday’s vote ratifying the PLA was the final step locking in place meaningful job standards, including entry into apprenticeship programs, ensuring the payment of prevailing wages and health insurance benefits. The PLA’s benefits will be felt most especially in Wilmington, San Pedro and Harbor City—some of LA’s most disadvantaged communities, where unemployment has hit Depression-era levels.

Many local residents appeared before the Board of Harbor Commissioners to voice their support for the Construction Careers Policy and PLA. “I remember decades ago when Wilmington was a middle-class community,” said Alicia Guerrero, a lifelong resident of the Port-adjacent city. “Now, there aren’t any good jobs and all the old businesses are closed. This policy is a chance for us to turn this city around, to make it a great place to live again.”

Thursday’s vote by the Harbor Commission was applauded by local community groups and elected officials alike. “The only way that we are going to get our economy back on track is by creating more good-paying, middle class jobs. One way we are working to create more good jobs in our City is by expanding and greening our Port, and ensuring that all construction is done through this Project Labor Agreement,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose council district includes the Port.

LAANE is a national leader in the effort to build a new economy for all. Combining dynamic research, innovative public policy and the organizing of broad alliances, LAANE promotes a new economic approach based on good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment. LAANE’s work has helped tens of thousands of people attain better wages and health benefits, and has improved public health for hundreds of thousands of people across the region.