One of the leading suppliers of construction projects in the Los Angeles area is the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Over the past 7 years, LAUSD has spent nearly $8.7 billion on new construction and renovation projects. LAUSD has signed a PSA and offers a good case study of PSAs in action, as used by a large urban employer. LPOs or PSAs are generally created with the intention of achieving certain goals in terms of local attitude and diversity. LAUSD PSA has set employment targets for small, local, emerging and disabled businesses, as well as small and minority businesses. This research and policy letter will build on a broader report from the California Construction Academy at UCLA Labor Center to discuss the role of LPAs or PSAs in creating jobs in the highway construction industry and whether LAUSD has met the goals set out in its PSA. The first uses of Project Labor Agreements in the United States date back to several dam projects in the 1930s, including the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, the Shasta Dam in California and the Hoover Dam in Nevada.  Modern PLPs developed particularly from those used in the construction sector during the Second World War, at a time when demand for skilled labour was needed, construction unions controlled 87% of the national market and public construction spending had increased significantly in a short period of time. These early PPPs focused on setting standard rates of pay and preventing work stoppages.  Cape Canaveral in the 1960s, Disney World from 1967-71 and Trans-Alaska Pipeline from 1973 to 1977.
  At that time and thereafter, the union share of the construction industry declined rapidly as construction users sought open competition. In the 1980s, non-unionized contractors claimed more than 80% of construction work in a large number of companies, with some differences in different parts of the country.  Several studies by the Beacon Hill Institute (IBB) at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, have concluded that LVOs increase construction costs. Studies conducted in 2003, 2004 and 2006, which examined the impact of PMMs on school construction in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State, have shown that the construction costs used by THEP have even been increased in controlling project size and school type. The Institute`s Study in September 2003 showed that the use of PLA resulted in a cost increase of nearly 14% compared to a non-PLA project.  The following year, his study of PLA in Connecticut showed that PLA increased costs by nearly 18%.  A BWI study conducted in May 2006 showed that the use of PLA in school construction projects in New York city between 1996 and 2004 increased construction costs by 20%. This study monitored the size of the project and the type of school.  A 2009 BWI report on PLA examined whether Obama`s executive order`s assertions that LTOs have a positive economic impact are accurate. The report examined the results of the Institute`s studies, other case studies of PLA and non-PLA projects, and examined criticisms of their previous studies and concluded that the justifications for the use of ALP in the executive order were not proven.
In particular, the report concluded that there were no economic benefits to the subjects in the use of TPAs.  In 2010, the New Jersey Department of Labor examined the impact of government-imposed PPPs on the cost of building schools in New Jersey in 2008 and also found that school construction projects using a LP had a higher cost per square metre per student than those that were not.  PLA is authorized by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C.