A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is similar to a Project Labor Agreement.
CBAs are a legal contract between building trades unions, a coalition of community-based organizations and the developer or contractor of a proposed project. A CBA usually requires the developer to provide specific amenities and benefits to the local community. In return, the community agrees to publicly support the project.
Depending on the specific project, CBAs will vary. However, they can include commitments to hire locally, contributions to economic trust funds, guarantees for local workforce training or any items all parties agree to prioritize such as the creation of green space, for example.
One of the ways a CBA can meet its goals is through community outreach. It is common for a CBA to require either the contractor or building trades to hold at least one community outreach event in order to help attract members of the community into careers in the building trades.
Men and women who want to join the construction industry can apply to an Apprenticeship Readiness Program or apply directly to a U.S. Department of Labor registered building trades union apprenticeship program.
CBAs create a diverse and fair workforce
CBAs, like PLAs, are legal contracts that define wages, work hours, fringe benefits and ensure the project will be finished on time and within budget. This means construction workers who are hired under a CBA will not be subject to unequal or inferior conditions of employment. CBAs make all construction workers on that particular project equal, at least by trade.
CBAs essentially take PLAs a step further as community leaders, contractors/project owners and building trades unions work together to ensure project diversity through specific goals. These goals can include hiring requirements for those who live in the community, women, people of color, veterans and other specific community members.
CBAs create more work opportunities for apprentices
In Central Ohio, CBAs have been used successfully at the city and county level, plus private projects as well.
Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council CBAs help put members of the award-winning Building Futures Program to work. They help ensure members of underserved communities are placed on the pathway to a middle-class lifestyle by providing them good wages, excellent full-family health insurance, great retirement benefits and career training through registered building trades apprenticeship programs.
Some of the past and current C/COBCTC CBA projects include:
- Columbus Fire Station No. 35
- Mapfre Stadium
- Linden Recreational Center
- Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Wexner Medical Center
- Facebook Datacenters
- Google Datacenters
- Amazon Datacenters
- Honda/LG Electrical Vehicle Battery Plant