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Council Passes Ordinance to Create Advisory Committee to Review Construction Projects Through an Equity Lens

November 14, 2022

Columbus, OH -- Tonight, Council passed Ordinance 3086-2022 to enact new Chapter 378 in the Columbus City Codes, pertaining to the creation of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) Advisory Committee. This Committee will review plans for large construction projects, alteration, and renovation projects for City-owned buildings or structures to determine whether a Community Benefits Agreement would improve the project and its purposes.

“This committee will review large city-owned development projects and make sure workers in our neighborhoods are getting a piece of the pie,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “This will ensure that buildings serve the public, not just when they are finished but during their construction. Workers come first in Columbus, and tonight, Council took one more step to give Columbus workers a fair shot.”

CBAs are effective mechanisms to increase economic opportunity, reduce economic inequality, provide low-income persons with access to good paying jobs, promote fair and equitable development goals, and address the history of systemic racism that has plagued minority residents in our City.

“Community Benefits Agreements have helped our City ensure our construction dollars support the creation of good union jobs; jobs that come with a good wage, healthcare, and retirement benefits.” said Councilmember Rob Dorans. “These agreements have also helped create a renewed partnership between organized labor and the NAACP here in Columbus to create opportunities to recruit more people of color and women into the Building Trades. The creation of the Community Benefits Agreements Advisory Committee will formalize these efforts and ensure Columbus continues serve as a model for workforce development policy that engages with both organized labor and our residents.”

The role of the Committee is advisory in nature, and this new chapter will promote a diverse workforce, efficient construction timelines, greater consideration of environmental impacts, and the overall community benefit relating to large City construction and renovation projects on buildings and other structures.  

"The last CBA we did was on the Linden Rec Center, said Executive Secretary of the Columbus Building Trades Council, Dorsey Hager. "We took members of the community, and specifically people that live in the Linden neighborhood, and gave them a direct path to the middle class through a career in the building trades.”

"It is our hope that Council will share this model with other cities," said Nana Watson, President of the NAACP. "We believe this advisory board will help increase their diversity and inclusion efforts where necessary on construction projects."

Right now, Council is in the process of working to appoint CBA committee members.