Skip to content

Filling the Good Jobs Gap: Fresno’s Opportunity for a Citywide Project Labor Agreement

February 1, 2021

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) guaranteeing wage levels, training standards, local hires, and other working conditions for municipal public construction projects is currently under local government consideration in Fresno, California. This study finds that from January 2013 to October 2020, an estimated 1,720 construction jobs in Fresno would have been covered through such a municipal policy.
Prior University of California studies and further independent research, reviewed here, demonstrate the significant benefits of PLAs for a diverse and locally inclusive workforce, income, and career training with no significant change in construction costs. In the face of enduring poverty and a gap of mid- and high-income careers in Fresno, a municipal PLA represents an opportunity that would support new or solidify existing careers for 215 construction workers a year on average, with immediate socioeconomic benefits for their families and communities.
In just two decades, Fresno's policy transformation–from an early prohibition on PLAs, to growing PLA adoption with broad official support–offers an instructive case for cities and government bodies that have yet to adopt this foundational labor policy.

To support such policy dissemination, this study provides an analysis of the potential construction job impacts of public PLAs.  See the the entire Community and Labor Center Policy Brief, Filling the Good Jobs Gap: Fresno’s Opportunity for a Citywide Project Labor Agreement, here.