NYC, trades agree on PLA to encourage low-income neighborhood hiring, apprenticeship opportunities

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NYC Building Trades
Image from NYC Building Trades Twitter feed

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York have agreed on a new project labor agreement for workers at certain city-sponsored new construction projects, as well as municipal renovation projects.

The Aug. 13 statement says:.

  • Unions will prioritize the referral of workers from zip codes where at least 15% of the population lives below the federal poverty level and/or are NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) residents, aiming to reach an overall goal that at least 30 percent of all hours worked under PLA projects are logged by workers from these zip codes.
  • Unions will provide contractors with apprentices on city construction projects up to the maximum number allowed by the New York State Department of Labor when contractors request apprentices. An apprenticeship Memorandum of Understanding establishes, for the first time, specific annual goals for the number of slots provided for both apprentices and pre-apprentices for residents of disadvantaged communities and NYCHA housing.
  • This PLA increases opportunities and adds flexibility for MWBEs, allowing their workforce to gain valuable experience on city project,

“During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we’re taking action to connect low-income New Yorkers to good jobs and even better futures,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’ll use the city’s purchasing power to address hiring disparities, expand opportunities and invest in our communities of color. Working together, we can build a fair and equitable future for all New Yorkers.”

The mayor also said that he proposes introducing a new bill in the state legislature to establish an Office of Community Hiring and Workforce Development to develop new programs to connect NYCHA residents, veterans, people with disabilities, people with criminal records, immigrants and cash assistance recipients with contractors and other businesses who work on all kinds of city projects, not just construction.

“For years, New York’s union building trades have prioritized expanding access, equity, and opportunity in neighborhoods across the city,” said Gary LaBarbera, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council, in a statement. “We look forward to building on that commitment and working directly with the administration to ensure that all New Yorkers — especially those in underserved communities — have access not only to our exceptional union apprenticeship and direct-entry programs, but also to the tens of thousands of middle-class careers that this agreement will create.”

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