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Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are legally enforceable agreements between private companies and coalitions of community and labor groups. CBAs can be used to ensure a wide range of high-road job standards and equity measures. 

What is a CBA?

When cities and states enter into contracts with private corporations to build transit equipment, these private corporations are rarely required to create good jobs or commit to equity measures. JMA has developed policy tools like the U.S. Employment Plan to incentivize companies bidding for public contracts to create good jobs in the U.S. Using the USEP allows cities and states to invest in new manufacturing facilities. CBAs allow coalitions of community-based groups, workforce development organizations, labor unions, and other social justice advocates to ensure even deeper equity commitments and high road hiring practices at these facilities.

Why organize for a CBA?

CBAs can:

  • Maximize returns on government investment in manufacturing. 
  • Transform communities through stronger, more equitable economies. 
  • Hold companies accountable to their promises to local governments, workers, and communities. 
  • Advance racial and gender equity by creating training and apprenticeship opportunities for women, people of color, veterans, and systems-impacted people who have. historically been left out of good jobs in the manufacturing sector.

CBAs are a win-win for communities and manufacturers. Manufacturers doing business in the U.S. are facing a shortage of skilled and middle-skilled workers to fill the demand for machinists, welders, computer-controlled machine operators and other key positions. CBAs help  manufacturers develop and train a skilled workforce while creating good jobs with benefits for working families. 

Read more about the history of CBAs in the development context here.

Community Benefits Agreements in Action

Our CBA with railcar manufacturer CRRC

Illinois

For the first time in 50 years, Chicago is manufacturing railcars. Our CBA with manufacturer CRRC will create good jobs for south side residents facing barriers to employment.

Associated Press Posts