The Construction Workforce Project of New York City2022-04-01T16:36:46-04:00

Data shows that of 82 non-union major projects 87% of 74,000 workers surveyed are minorities in New York City

Putting Our City to Work

Despite a rapid expansion in the merit shop, also known as open-shop, construction labor force throughout New York City, workers lacked a voice to advocate on behalf of their interests regarding policies, non-union training programs and barriers to entry instituted by union officials. The Construction Workforce Project (CWP) seeks to fill that void by educating both the public, elected officials and other community stakeholders about the benefits of merit shop construction while advancing initiatives that align with the broader needs of communities of color and other underrepresented minorities in the New York City region.

Specifically, CWP’s targeted policy objectives focus on initiatives that increase access to merit shop jobs in the city and policies that streamline construction work to repair and fortify our public housing and public transit infrastructure. Ultimately, our belief is that any legislation which restricts an individual’s ability to work in their industry of choice is detrimental to local job growth. With more than 70 percent of the merit shop workforce being Black or Latino, our role in bettering these communities’ work opportunities is critical to pushing back on union excesses and securing the future of these workers.

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REW: Construction industry push for diversity a good start, but more resources needed

A recently announced diversity initiative by the Associated General Contractors of America is an encouraging step forward. However, open shop workers in New York City need much more support from our elected officials in order to achieve real gains for men and women of color in our industry.

Amsterdam News: It is not progressive for the state legislature to exclude Black and Brown workers from legislative initiatives

We must not confuse sensible efforts to improve the construction industry with mandates that would exclude locally based workers of color and MWBE contractors from some of the city’s biggest projects.

CWP to NYS Senate Labor Committee: Expansion of Public Work and it’s Negative Consequences

While traditional union models of hiring continue to present barriers to entry for minority workers, merit shop (also known as open shop) offers an inclusive hiring model, giving a chance to anyone willing to work hard.

CWP to NYS Assembly Labor Committee: Expansion of Public Work and it’s Negative Consequences

New York’s diverse communities of color have long lacked access to equal employment opportunities, but New York City’s building boom presents ample opportunity for all New Yorkers to gain access to meaningful education/training and employment.

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