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Getting to the Table: A Project Labor Agreement Primer

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Abstract:

To assist residents and community groups in gaining tangible benefits from public works projects for their communities, this primer discusses the Project Labor Agreement (PLA). While fairly common on large private sector projects, PLAs until recently were rare in public-sector projects. In the 1990s, the number of public-sector projects covered by a PLA jumped. Capitalizing on the opportunity for a say in these public works projects, residents from Seattle to Buffalo, from Oakland to Boston, from Los Angeles to New York City joined in PLA negotiations and produced important community benefits. Their strong voices and informed positions resulted in improved community access to living-wage jobs and training for those jobs, as well as much-needed infusions of investment dollars for local business assistance and job training programs.