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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 22 September 2016

City Commissioner Nick Fish is expected to present a report to the city council Thursday afternoon on the effectiveness of the community benefits agreement. The Kelly Butte Reservoir and Interstate Maintenance Facility Renovation Projects were pilot projects under the CBA.

A community benefits agreement is a legally-binding contract between a broad community coalition and a developer in which community members pledge support for a development in return for community benefits such as targeted hire of minorities, women and disadvantanged workers. In September 2012 the city council – after working with a coalition of labor, minority employers, pre-apprenticeship training programs and community-based organizations -- approved a resolution to adopt a model community benefits agreement for use as a template on large city construction projects.

In the draft model CBA established an oversight committee to develop project-specific agreements and oversee implementation of CBAs for each pilot project. The resolution also asked city procurement services and the Portland Water Bureau to evaluate the effectiveness of the CBAs to be piloted on the  projects.

The report, which is available for download at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/589902, says the project has largely been successful in meeting its goals of increasing workforce diversity on minority contracting projects; holding contractors, subcontractors and stakeholders accountable; including key stakeholders in the project; and engaging unions in recruitment and training and placement of workers.

It includes the following recommendations:

  •          Consider combining the Labor Management Community Oversight Committee and Compliance Subcommittee.
  •          Make improvements to technical assistance programs and services.
  •          Restructure administrative costs.
  •          Consider both project duration and hard construction costs when determining an appropriate administrative budget.

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