In 2008, a broad coalition of community members, faith leaders, workers and labor leaders successfully passed a Construction Careers Policy at the Community Redevelopment Agency-Los Angeles, the first of its kind in the nation. This policy approach aimed to increase workplace standards in publicly-funded construction projects and increase access to quality construction careers for communities struggling under the weight of poverty and chronic unemployment. The policy met these goals by coupling a Project Labor Agreement with a targeted hire program. Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are collective bargaining agreements made between contractors, government agencies, and construction trade unions creating quality jobs that
guarantee prevailing wages and health benefits, in exchange for a guarantee of labor peace to protect the public investment. Targeted hire programs ensure that good jobs are created where they are most needed. When paired, PLAs and targeted hire programs can create a much-needed pathway out of poverty for workers with limited education and career opportunities in low-income communities.
Six years and six victories later, the success of the Construction Careers Coalition represents
a new way forward in public investment and accountability. This is a culmination of many years
of advocacy and partnership among community members, faith leaders, labor and elected officials. This report outlines the successful Construction Careers approach, the groundbreaking victories of this partnership, and the benefits to workers, community members, and taxpayers.