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Mayor: “Many of the benefits of the PLA cannot be precisely translated into dollar savings.”

In Rochester, NY Mayor Thomas Richards had the unenviable task of trying to simultaneously find jobs for local residents, cut costs to better align with the city’s budget, and make sure that the Midtown Rochester Rising Development Project was successfully built and completed. He found that the answer to all three of his problems could be found in a Project Labor Agreement:

Legislation has been submitted to City Council to establish a project labor agreement related to redevelopment at the Midtown Plaza site, city officials announced Friday.

The legislation was submitted Thursday and is expected to be considered at the council’s Dec. 13 meeting.

The agreement would represent the commitment by contractors and unions to control costs, and to increase women and minority representation in the project, officials said. It allows for the creation of a training program to increase the number of qualified workers for jobs related to the project.

According to the Mayor’s office, the PLA is a necessary investment in Rochester’s future:

“Construction at the new Midtown infrastructure represents a $30 million investment that will create hundreds of jobs in this community,” said Mayor Richards. “We must do everything we can to have those jobs reflect the diversity of this community while keeping costs from escalating. This agreement will help us do that.”

PLA’s aim to ensure top quality, efficient work and prevent many problems that can arise from hiring multiple contractors. According to the Mayor:

Many of the benefits of the PLA cannot be precisely translated into dollar savings. These benefits include: avoidance of strikes and other delays from labor disputes; increased productivity through flexible scheduling; assurance of reliable and experienced labor force; avoidance of favoritism by assuring that the PLA benefits are available to all successful bidders, regardless of their union status.

Workers from various trades will be needed to complete the overhaul of the Midtown Rising Development Project, according to the Rochester Business Journal,

The agreement with local trade unions would set goals of a minority work force of 20 percent and 6.9 percent participation by women, city officials said. It also would create opportunities to save as much as $1.1 million through pre-determined efficiencies.

The agreement would affect contracts with firms selected to construct the new street grid, truck and pedestrian tunnels, and rehabilitate the underground parking garage, officials said.

Read the entire RBJ piece HERE.


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