Letter to Tom Perez, Secretary of Labor - Use More Local Workforce on Federal Construction Projects


Dear Secretary Perez,

We are writing to urge the Administration to renew its efforts to promote and facilitate the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for federal construction projects. PLAs are successful project management tools that support the cost effective and timely completion of high-quality federal projects.

In 2009, as one of President Obama's first official actions in office, he overturned a ban on PLAs and signed Executive Order 13502, encouraging executive agencies to consider requiring the use of PLAs on large-scale construction projects.

As the President noted at the time, project labor agreements can help the federal government complete construction projects in an efficient and timely manner by clearly establishing the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.

One year later, the Annual Report of the White House Middle Class Task Force found that agency contracting offices had limited capacity working with PLAs. The Task Force convened an Inter-agency PLA Working Group, bringing together representatives from a variety of federal agencies and providing greater technical assistance to fully realize the intent of the executive order. Since that time, however, there has been little information available about the progress of federal agencies in encouraging the use of PLAs on federal construction projects.

We therefore request that you reconstitute the Working Group and then convene a White House meeting with representatives of the federal agencies that conduct major construction projects, to enable the Working Group to report its findings and, if necessary, provide the agencies with additional guidance toward realizing PLAs.

We stand ready to work with you to continue encouraging the use of project labor agreements by federal agencies and the private sector. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you about how we can support broader adoption of this management tool.