A welding student is wearing a protective shield and gloves while using a torch. The room is very dark and sparks are flying from the welding torch.

A welding student with San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCD photo).


District commits to hire local for majority of trade work

March 27, 2024 | San Diego Community College District

The San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council that would apply to construction projects financed by a proposed bond measure on the November 2024 ballot, and other future construction projects.

“This agreement ensures local workers and current and former SDCCD students will be the primary beneficiaries of the jobs created through our capital projects,” said SDCCD Chancellor Gregory Smith.

Initial employment preference would be given to residents in qualifying ZIP codes or veterans residing anywhere. The agreement requires that 80% of craft hours be performed by residents of San Diego County, dependents of active-duty military, or current and former SDCCD students, including former foster youth and those formerly incarcerated. The CBA focuses direct support on SDCCD apprentice programs and other related academic programs.

“The district is pleased to establish this partnership with the Building Trades Council which will provide construction jobs and apprenticeships for current and former SDCCD students, active-duty dependents, and other disadvantaged worker populations,” said SDCCD Board of Trustees President Bernie Rhinerson.

In addition to ensuring a skilled workforce of local residents, the agreement also gives SDCCD the ability to carve out certain “critical infrastructure and deferred maintenance” projects from provisions of the CBA, subject to the approval of the Trades Council, providing additional flexibility. This provision is believed to be innovative among Project Labor Agreements in the San Diego area.

“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with the San Diego Community College District that will benefit the community and provide good jobs and training for so many people,” said Carol Kim, Business Manager for the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council.

The SDCCD has not had a bond measure on the ballot for more than 18 years. During that time, district facilities have continued to age and there is a growing need for new facilities to house advanced job training and educational programs. Later this Spring, the Board of Trustees will consider placing a new bond measure on the November 2024 ballot to modernize, upgrade and repair SDCCD facilities. If approved by voters, construction work funded by the bond will be subject to the CBA.

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