Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How Project Labor Agreements and Community Workforce Agreements Are Good for the Biden Administration’s Investment Agenda
Press Release

RELEASE: How Project Labor Agreements and Community Workforce Agreements Are Good for the Biden Administration’s Investment Agenda

Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration’s investment agenda promises to strengthen the economy for years to come and support millions of high-quality jobs. To ensure that these investments are of good value and deliver on their commitments to create quality jobs accessible to all, the federal government should encourage more recipients of these funds to adopt project labor agreements (PLAs) and community workforce agreements (CWAs). A new Center for American Progress report outlines the mechanics and benefits of CWAs and PLAs to ensure agency officials, policymakers, and worker advocates are getting the most out of these federal investments. 

PLAs and CWAs are powerful tools that help ensure federal investments are completed on time and on budget by well-qualified workers, support long-term labor stability, and advance the Biden administration’s goal of creating quality jobs available to workers traditionally excluded from construction. This report explains how PLAs and CWAs improve outcomes on public investments, spotlights new Biden administration investments that commit to use PLAs or CWAs, and details past successes in public and private sectors with these agreements. 

The federal government, states, and private sector alike have used PLAs and CWAs for nearly a century. Across sectors, they’ve helped establish a baseline for job quality, labor stability, and a pipeline for underrepresented workers on publicly funded construction projects. Project owners and workers alike benefit since the agreements support a consistent supply of high-quality labor and avoid costly work stoppages due to labor disputes, while the agreements offer workers enforceable baseline standards. 

“These agreements are effective, time-tested tools for creating good value on taxpayer-funded projects, ensuring workers earn fair wages and good benefits. They have the promise to increase job access for workers from all walks of life, especially women and workers of color,” said Karla Walter, senior director of employment policy and co-author of the report. 

“The Biden administration has an opportunity to create tens of thousands of good jobs nationwide thanks to funding from the historic economic legislation package,” said Aurelia Glass, research associate and co-author of the report. “To ensure workers are reaping the benefits, federal agencies should encourage applicants to commit to using PLAs and CWAs and to monitor contractor compliance throughout the build.”

Read the report:How Project Labor Agreements and Community Workforce Agreements Are Good for the Biden Administration’s Investment Agenda” by Aurelia Glass and Karla Walter

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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