Local Labor and Community Coalition Releases Historic Regional Contracting Model

January 14th, 2020

Over the next 5 years, an estimated $7 billion in publicly-funded construction projects are forecasted to be underway in the region and the Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity (MAWE) is working hard to make sure that women and people of color have opportunities to participate.

"The CBA ensures real accountability on public construction projects," Nkenge Harmon Johnson, Urban League of Portland

MAWE has developed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) that has proven effective in expanding opportunities for historically under represented populations in the construction industry. This agreement is being shared with Metro, the City of Portland, Prosper Portland, Multnomah County, TriMet and others in the hopes that regional contracting standards can be developed and in support of the Construction Career Pathways Project effort led by Metro.

The CBA has been endorsed by over 30 organizations in the region, including minority contractors, local nonprofits and major trade unions with the hope that it will be applied to capital projects over $5 million. “The CBA works for labor, for community members interested in full employment in the trades, and for minority contractors growing their capacity,” states Matt Eleazer, the local President of the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts Union. “This work is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction to make sure public projects are completed with high labor standards while also increasing the diversity of the workforce and contractor base.”