RPLG Founding Partner Jon Holtzman recently completed negotiations for a project labor agreement (PLA) that prioritizes State Center Community College District (SCCCD) graduates. The PLA was approved on March 10, 2020 by five of the seven SCCCD Trustees.

Jonathan Holtzman

Founding Partner, Jonathan Holtzman

“I am happy that the local building trades council and State Center Community College District were able to come to an agreement after nearly four months of research and negotiations,” said Mr. Holtzman. “I hope this agreement will truly benefit SCCCD graduates during this difficult time.”

The agreement gives hiring priority for the West Fresno campus construction project to SCCCD graduates and traditionally disadvantaged individuals. Additionally, the PLA helps to enroll District graduates in apprenticeship programs and obtain union membership. It also incentivizes businesses owned by SCCCD graduates to bid on projects by exempting them from PLA requirements.


Specifically, the agreement includes provisions for:

  • Hiring SCCCD graduates for at least 50 percent of apprentice work hours on the project, and District Residents for at least 50% of Project Work hours
  • Granting third period apprenticeship placement to certified SCCCD graduates
  • Requiring union hiring halls to give preference to SCCCD graduates
  • Carving out as much as 5% of the project’s total construction cost to be performed by disadvantaged/SCCCD graduate-owned businesses without being covered by the PLA.


“Every time I negotiate a PLA, I feel we are getting closer to the holy grail – a PLA that really ensures a significant number of people who need jobs and job skills are brought into the construction trades for a career,” Holtzman said.  “The Fresno Madera Building Trades Council understands and supports this goal better than most building trades councils in the state, but old habits die hard, and some member unions still resist attempts to make hiring hall and apprentice selection practices fully transparent and accountable – which is necessary to ensure hiring goals are achieved.  PLAs are the way of the future, but, for their public purpose to be fully realized, we must make sure they benefit those who need help the most.”

Mr. Holtzman has over twenty years of experience with drafting, negotiating, administering, and defending PLAs to achieve efficient and effective outcomes. Recently, RPLG added partner Julian Gross, who is also an expert in PLAs and workforce development issues.

RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.