Los Angeles County approves local hiring PLA

Dive Brief:

  • The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a project labor agreement that includes a first-of-its kind partnership with unions designed to bring thousands of jobs in the trades to the region. 
  • In addition to existing prevailing wage requirements for projects built by the county, the new agreement will ensure the projects are built by a workforce from the community where they are built, Helen Chavez, communications director for County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, told Construction Dive.
  • The new labor agreement applies solely to projects built by the county with a minimum contract value of $5 million. 

Dive Insight:

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved the motion Feb. 28, following negotiations with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Trades Council that began in January. The Countywide Workforce Agreement incorporates a local targeted hiring policy, which means the unions must provide contractors on covered projects with qualified, local workers.

PLAs are far from popular with many contractors. Most stipulate higher wages, lay the groundwork for handling project disagreements or establish strict rules for jobsite policies. They can raise costs and lengthen project timelines, some contractors say.

The Los Angeles PLA is an addition to how its public projects operate. The goal, according to Supervisor Janice Hahn, is to “open doors” for local workers who haven’t had access to good-paying jobs in the industry before.

According to Chavez, the agreement will help the county and the unions, “continue to build up the future of our local workforce as we look to implement once-in-a-generation funding made available through state and federal governments, including the bipartisan infrastructure law.”

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