Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners have approved a plan Monday to expand the port’s use of locally hired, disadvantaged and veteran workers for more than $700 million in construction projects.
Under the new Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, at least 40 percent of the work on port construction projects must be done by local residents (Los Angeles and Orange counties), 15 percent by disadvantaged workers and 10 percent by veterans. The PLA also encourages apprenticeship and training programs, and establishes hiring programs such as job fairs near project sites.
The five-year agreement covers $717 million in port infrastructure projects including rail improvements, terminal redevelopment and public safety buildings.
“I am so pleased that the agreement approved by the Harbor Commission ensures that the port is reaching out to local residents and disadvantaged workers to create good-paying opportunities,” said Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. “And for the first time, we’ve added outreach to veterans. This agreement ensures ample, well-qualified workers on Port projects and is a win-win for our city and region.”
The new PLA builds on the port’s existing labor pacts affecting $1.6 billion in construction projects during the past five years, and resulting in more than 5,300 local jobs. The existing pacts cover the Middle Harbor terminal modernization and Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement projects.
As many as 15 percent of those hired for Middle Harbor construction and 26 percent of Gerald Desmond Bridge construction were disadvantaged workers including individuals who are unemployed, single parents, lacking a General Education Development (GED) certification or high school diploma, or apprentices with less than 15 percent of the apprenticeship hours required to graduate to journey level.
“We’ve been incredibly successful with these agreements,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup. “It’s good policy to invest in local workers when we’re making these upgrades to enhance our competitiveness in the global market.”