According to the Community Benefits Agreement, Columbia University and the WHLDC are committed to a representation of Minority, Women and Local (MWL) construction trade persons to build the Manhattanville project. Columbia through its construction manager has negotiated a Project Labor Agreement with a target of a 40-percent MWL workforce of an initial term of seven years.
The CBA requires that in Phase I of the project that:
- At least 35 percent of the total dollar value of the contract would go to Minority, Women and Local Business Enterprises (MWLBE)
- The construction workforce would include 40 percent of MWL.
The WHLDC gets periodic reporting from Columbia on how they are doing relative to these targets. The latest report from Columbia stated that from August 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012:
- $35,705,669 was paid to MWL firms, which corresponded to a total of 56.8 percent of the total construction spending (excluding special construction services and related construction materials). The target spending was 35 percent.
- Of the $35,705,669 paid to MWLBEs, $29,750,060 (83.3 percent) was paid to local companies.
- In the same time period, there were a total of 197,998 MWL construction workforce hours worked which corresponded to 67 percent of the total workforce hours worked under construction contracts and subcontracts for the project (excluding specialty construction services and related construction materials). The target workforce hours were 40 percent.
- Of the MWL workforce hours, 44,143 (22.3 percent) was performed by local workers.
In addition to Columbia’s figures, a General Project Plan Monitor has been hired by the Empire State Development Corporation. The General Project Plan monitor, Spectrum, came on board in late 2012. Part of the General Project Plan monitor’s work is to ensure that Columbia University meets its commitments to the Harlem community under the General Project Plan. They are an independent monitor. WHLDC Executive Director Kofi Boateng and WHLDC Board Chairman Donald Notice have met with ESDC Senior Counsel Robin Stout and Spectrum CEO Mark O’Luck. Channels of communication have been established.
WHLDC will schedule regular meetings with the General Project Plan Monitor after they issue their first report.