What constitutes a good community benefits policy framework?
October 28, 2019
My recommendation for a framework around CBAs (I believe I may have mentioned my disdain for that term as it implies a requirement to apply benefits very narrowly in terms of geography) in broad terms would include the following:
- Eliminate the use of penalties to a developer or contractor. The idea of a bonus is attractive – the carrot and not the stick;
- Open the geographic aperture in which benefits can be applied;
- Open the aperture in terms of the kinds of socio-economic benefits that can be applied (there is no end to creative thinking on this one);
- Enable the use of third-party collaboration in the development and funding of benefits;
- Do not make hiring –especially project specific hiring with any hint of quotas- the biggest and thus an onerous portion of a CBA as a percentage of the contract, based on value;
- Do work to develop skills development and training programs, but in concert with existing training infrastructure. Your idea of a hub is good. We must not try not to re-invent the wheel though;
- Do encourage a diverse yet “quota-less” workforce and develop – again perhaps in concert with partners - ways to encourage that diversity;
- Determine realistic dollar value thresholds for projects that lend themselves to CBA requirements and the types of infra-projects to which CBAs could apply.