Groundbreaking Construction Careers Victory in Oakland

November 15, 2012 -- East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable...

A broad-based labor-community coalition, in close partnership with the City of Oakland, has finalized a groundbreaking construction careers program for the $400 million revitalization of the Oakland Army Base.  The Revive Oakland coalition, with strong leadership from East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), worked closely with local building trades partners to develop the project’s comprehensive construction careers approach, ensuring local access and job quality on this tremendously important public-private project. 

The construction careers requirements are incorporated into the project’s development agreement, as well as a project labor agreement (PLA) approved by the local building trades council.  Benefits include:

  • 50% local hire requirement
  • 25% disadvantaged hire requirement
  • 20% minimum apprentice utilization
  • trade-by-trade apprentice sponsorship and hiring requirements for new local apprentices
  • incentives for long-term retention of new local apprentices
  • “ban the box” requirements to prohibit unnecessary exclusion of workers with history of involvement with the criminal justice system
  • high-road job-quality assurances, including wages, benefits, and training
  • strong monitoring and enforcement provisions

In addition to this slate of benefits, the tight integration of contractor requirements into a PLA makes this a model agreement for other cities and coalitions.  The construction careers program breaks new ground in laying out a step-by-step implementation approach for contractors aiming to hire local and disadvantaged workers. The City of Oakland will also be establishing a job resource center in partnership with the trades and community organization, which will be an important piece in the hiring process that contractors follow.

On October 30, the Oakland City Council passed the CWA incorporating these requirements.   The Council also established an Oversight Commission, to ensure strong implementation and enforcement of the construction careers program – and several seats on the Oversight Commission will go to community representatives, bringing ongoing accountability and community involvement. 

Congrats to EBASE, the Revive Oakland coalition, and the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council for coming together and fighting for this groundbreaking construction careers agreement!  Years of advocacy have paid off for the workers of Oakland.

You can read more about the rest of the landmark good jobs agreement that Revive Oakland won for the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base here.