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:

  1. Eliminate the use of penalties to a developer or contractor. The idea of a bonus is attractive – the carrot and not the stick;
  2. Open the geographic aperture in which benefits can be applied;
  3. 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);
  4. Enable the use of third-party collaboration in the development and funding of benefits;
  5. 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;
  6. 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;
  7. Do encourage a diverse yet “quota-less” workforce and develop – again perhaps in concert with partners - ways to encourage that diversity;
  8. Determine realistic dollar value thresholds for projects that lend themselves to CBA requirements and the types of infra-projects to which CBAs could apply.