In 2016, Port of Oakland construction projects generated a grand total of $6.5 million in earnings for workers. A whopping 60% of those workers were local, significantly exceeding the Port’s 50% local hiring goal. Workers who live in Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, and Emeryville were responsible for 37% of the total work hours, a 3.5% increase from 2015:
“The Port of Oakland contributes to the local economy by being a major job creator,” said Port of Oakland Director of Social Responsibility Amy Tharpe. “We work closely with the general contracting community to ensure that they are doing everything possible to support local hiring.”
These gains are the result of a longstanding Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that promotes local hiring. The PLA, championed by building trades unions, was updated earlier this year:
The Port of Oakland adopted a Maritime Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA) in 2000. It was updated in February 2016 to further promote local hire and promote more access for local workers interested in the construction industry. The agreement covers maritime and aviation-related construction projects funded through the Port’s Capital Improvement Program.
It was designed to ensure employment of local residents, promote project labor stability, and promote the utilization of small business. The Port MAPLA was the first of its kind and is still a national model among PLAs.
PLAs like this one set a high standard. Without them, such lofty targets would not be met. Port of Oakland commented in a press release:
“Our goal was to update the original agreement to strengthen the Port’s role in promoting local hiring and growing a pipeline of future talent in the construction and building trades,” said Port of Oakland Director of Social Responsibility Amy Tharpe. “The future of the construction industry depends on the strong partnerships between industry, labor, and the communities they serve to build a workforces that creates good, family-sustaining jobs for workers.”
The agreement has become a national model among PLAs.
Read more about the port’s updated PLA and its impact on employee misclassification.