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An ordinance amending Article I0 of Chapter I of Division I0 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code, the Service Contractor Worker Retention Ordinance, to make certain modifications and clarifications. It is unacceptable that contracting decisions involving the expenditure of City funds should have any potential effect of creating unemployment and the consequential need for social services. The City, as a principal provider of social support services, has an interest in the stability of employment under contracts with the City or by those receiving financial assistance from the City. The retention of existing workers benefits that interest.
This paper offers background on the development of Los Angeles’s Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) program, and highlights the features of the program that make it a best practice model for workforce training for entry-level workers. First, we provide an overview of the statewide and local policy landscape regarding energy and jobs that led to the development of the UPCT program. This is followed by a description of the basic structure and mechanics of the program, including the multiple partnerships that have been developed in its implementation. Next, we take a look at the benefits of the program from the perspective of stakeholders. We conclude with a discussion of the lessons learned from UPCT for other utilities or unions interested in implementing similar workforce programs.
This report discusses the progress of the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) program since its launch in 2011. The UPCT program, jointly operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 18, is an earn-and-learn, pre-apprenticeship training program in which entry-level trainees work full time weatherizing homes and small businesses while learning skills and preparing for civil service exams and career opportunities in the utility. Trainees receive $16 per hour plus health and retirement benefits, considerably better compensation than most entry-level workers earn for weatherization work, and are union members represented by IBEW Local 18. In addition to classroom training, trainees receive on-the-job training to install energy efficiency measures for LADWP’s Home Energy Improvement Program1 and Small Business Direct Install program,2 as well as solar installations on properties owned by LADWP. Trainees also rotate through the water, power, and support services sides of the utility to gain broad exposure and try out different types of work before selecting a career path.
Los Angeles is currently embarking upon one its largest investments in infrastructure in decades. Through these investments, we will be modernizing our port, fixing our roads, and undertaking the largest expansion of public transit in recent history. These investments, representing over $12 billion dollars in construction, will also result in the creation of thousands of jobs in communities slowly recovering from the Great Recession. In 2008, a broad coalition of community members, faith leaders, workers and labor leaders successfully passed a Construction Careers Policy at the Community Redevelopment Agency-Los Angeles, the first of its kind in the nation. This policy approach aimed to increase workplace standards in publicly-funded construction projects and increase access to quality construction careers for communities struggling under the weight of poverty and chronic unemployment. The policy met these goals by coupling a Project Labor Agreement with a targeted hire program. Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are collective bargaining agreements made between contractors, government agencies, and construction trade unions creating quality jobs that guarantee prevailing wages and health benefits, in exchange for a guarantee of labor peace to protect the public investment. Targeted hire programs ensure that good jobs are created where they are most needed. When paired, PLAs and targeted hire programs can create a much needed pathway out of poverty for workers with limited education and career opportunities in low-income communities.
The Construction Careers and Project Stabilization Policy, which defines a local hiring program and project labor agreement terms that would be applied to all Board-approved projects that meet certain thresholds. The key goals of the Policy are to ensure that (1) CRA/LA-created job opportunities benefit local residents, particularly those living in or adjacent to CRA/LA project areas; (2) residents with barriers to employment have access to job opportunities; and (3) new entrants to the construction field have access to training and support to advance their careers. Covered Projects would include Public Improvement contracts of $500,000 or more; construction projects on CRA/LA-owned land; and development projects in which the CRA/LA has invested $1,000,000 or more. Covered Development Projects with fewer than 75 units of housing and less than 50,000 square feet of nonresidential floor area would be exempted. The local hiring program will require that developers and contractors take specific enumerated steps to ensure that 30% of all project work hours and 50% of apprentice work hours go to Community Area Residents and Local Residents (defined in the Policy), and 10% of all construction work hours go to Local Low-Income Residents (defined in the Policy). The 10% and 50% may be applied towards the 30% requirement.
The factsheet outlines the cities The Utility Pre-Craft Trainee Program (UPCT) in LA which aimed to place low income and minority city residents in good union utility jobs through an innovative training program.
City of Los Angele equity metrics data initiative to track the equitable provision of water and power service to all residents. Additionally, it measures the equitable provision of opportunity in terms of employment for water and power service jobs.
At a time when Los Angeles is losing tens of thousands of jobs, planned public investment in our infrastructure remains a bright spot, offering the potential to stimulate the economy and create good jobs. A key target for infrastructure investment is the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest port in the United States and one of the primary economic engines of Southern California. Port officials are planning to invest $3.7 billion on a capital improvement program expected to create an estimated 13,700 construction jobs over the next ten years, according to a LAANE review of proposed projects. This is good news for an industry that has lost more than 23,500 jobs in Los Angeles County since 2008 due to both the housing and financial crises. The Port’s capital investment plan represents an opportunity for communities that have been hit hard by the recession. It also represents a potential opportunity for residents living directly adjacent to the Port who have not benefited economically from the Port’s rapid growth over the past 15 years, but have, nonetheless, suffered the environmental consequences of it.
Los Angeles is about to embark upon one of the largest investments in transportation infrastructure in the county’s history—an array of projects worth more than $72 billion over the next 30 years. This investment has the potential to be a massive economic recovery project at a time when Angelenos need it most. Los Angeles County is experiencing one of the worst economic crises in modern history, with unemployment close to 13 percent. Public investment in transportation represents an opportunity to connect communities hit hardest by the recession to middle-class jobs, while also improving our environment and helping create thriving communities with real transportation alternatives. At a time of severe fiscal challenges for the public sector, voters in the county approved Measure R by a two-thirds majority, providing a half-cent sales tax increase dedicated to transportation investment. With a secure local revenue stream, Los Angeles County can become a national model for creating middle-class jobs by prioritizing public transit through the “30/10 Plan,” a proposal to expedite twelve mass transit projects from 30 years to 10, in coordination with federal agencies.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (LACMTA) Construction Careers Policy (CCP) encourages construction employment and training opportunities in ways calculated to mitigate the harms caused by geographically concentrated poverty and unemployment in economically disadvantaged areas and among disadvantaged workers throughout the United States. This policy identifies the minimum efforts contractors performing on covered LACMTA construction projects must make to comply with this policy.