FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 27, 2012
Contact: Stefanie Ritoper, email@example.com, 213-375-4841
Recently the blog PublicCEO.com interviewed Daniel Villao, Statewide Director of the California Construction Academy, for a story around Project Labor Agreements and CCA’s white paper. Unfortunately, the source misquoted Villao and inaccurately represented the California Construction Academy.
We have sent in a request for a correction to PublicCEO.com and hope that they fill this request.
Today Daniel Villao issued the following statement:
“As part of the UCLA Labor Center, our central focus is to build a better construction industry, which includes improving the lives of construction workers and promote access to high quality careers. Construction unions have a strong track record of both providing quality training for construction workers and creating pathways to middle class careers. We think it’s important to partner with them.
Because we are affiliated with the university, we are in the unique position to bring together a diversity of partners. As the official construction intermediary of the City of Los Angeles, we regularly bring together a wide range of people, including representatives from academia, government, labor, business (construction contractors), and community.
We receive resources from diverse funding partners, one of which is the California Construction Industry Labor-Management Cooperation Trust, a partnership of construction contractors and labor unions. We have also received funding from private foundations, government agencies, and individual donors. We see this funding as evidence of our role to bridge together multiple partners.”
PublicCEO.com Blog Post
Some points of clarification on the PublicCEO.com blog post:
- As clarification, the California Construction Industry Labor-Management Cooperation Trust is not the non-profit arm of the Building Trades Council. It is a partnership between business (construction employers) and labor.
- The California Construction Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust does provide some of CCA’s funding, but it did not fund the analysis of the ABC-funded study by National University. In fact, CCA did not receive any specific funding for this study. Having done extensive research on project labor agreements, we found it important to address some of the methodological flaws of the study.
- The article misquotes Daniel and describes his employer as “a group that represents a group of unions.” This is factually inaccurate. The UCLA Labor Center conducts research and education around pressing issues affecting workers, students, and communities. Read more about Labor Center projects. In the interview Daniel was referring to his own professional experience in the construction industry prior to coming to the Labor Center. Find more about his work here.
- The article says that according to the 2009 990 IRS Form, the UCLA Labor Center received $450,000. In fact, when clicking on the document, the amount the Labor Center received was $180,000.
The article is based on CCA’s white paper analysis last year of a study by National University, funded by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Download CCA’s White paper.
CCA White Paper
Some major points regarding the white paper:
- The white paper analyzes a recent report critical of project labor agreements, raising serious concerns about the study’s focus, methodology, and the way in which results are reported.
- National University continues to focus on a very small point in the white paper, land acquisition costs, which, without access to the original data, we list as one of many potential factors that influence outlying costs.
- However, the central argument in the white paper is that when National University researchers conducted an “apples-to-apples” comparison of 65 schools built under PLAs and 65 comparable schools not built under PLAs, they found that the presence of PLAs was not statistically significant.
- The authors misleadingly place the findings toward the end of the report, in the “Additional Research Questions” section:
- “…We were able to identify a region of common support, matching 65 PLA projects with 65 non-PLA projects that, but for the absence of a PLA, are similar with respect to other project characteristics, such as the use of demolition and total square footage… In our second phase, we analyzed the matched set of 130 projects (incorporating a propensity weight covariate) using the ordinary least squares method. We found that PLAs were not statistically significant. Similar results were found when the propensity score was omitted from the model.”
- Even the USC researchers who reviewed the National University study indicated methodological issues that remain unresolved.