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    Student and Community Workforce Agreement (SCWA) Priority Hire Program

    Seattle Public Schools has launched a Priority Hire program with a Student and Community Workforce Agreement (SCWA). While similar to the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, and King County, this program introduces historic and ground-breaking new initiatives. The SCWA is among the first in the country to create a direct pipeline for students and their families as well as diverse workers and communities.

    In past years, few Seattle residents or former district students have had the jobs on our larger school construction projects. Following traditional training and employment systems does not bring our students, our family wage-earners, and others who have racial or social justice barriers, to the front of the line.

    • Our studies show not only few of these workers on site today, but we hope that systematic interventions can radically change this profile and bring such workers to our jobs.
    • According to a small sample of projects, less than 4% of apprentices on our district projects are people of color and only 1% are women. We hope to gather more data, implement our program, and then create a meaningful increase.
    • Our studies show it can ensure our construction projects continue to meet delivery schedules, strengthen safety, worker representation and ensure skilled workers direct for our school projects.

    Read the adopted SCWA PDF icon

    Read the SCWA Task Force Final ReportPDF icon.

    Read the July 2020 School Board Action Report that includes the SCWA research and backgroundPDF icon.

    Read the SPS media advisory Student Community Workforce Agreement PDF icon Sept. 2020

    Seattle Public Schools has over $1 billion in current levy money with more to come in future levies. That keeps our school buildings current, but it also represents opportunities that we hope can return to students, families, residents and communities. But this $1 billion remains a fraction of the total opportunity for construction jobs in our region. Perhaps even more importantly is the preparation it offers for placements on other public or private construction jobs.

    Opportunity, Seattle Public Schools' New Student and Community Workforce Agreement from Seattle Public Schools TV on Vimeo.

     

    Workshops for Contractors

    Virtual workshops are offered for anyone interested in the Priority Hire and SCWA.

    Contractor workshops for Acceptable Worksites, LCPTracker, and B2G requirements and the new Workforce Plan will also be provided.

    Contractor workshops about SCWA will be also offered starting in 2021, beginning in January.

    Intro Workshop

    Workshop Flyer PDF icon

    SPS will host virtual workshops to present significant changes for large construction projects worth $1 million or more and an upcoming 2021 project preview. The agenda includes:

    • Student and Community Workforce Agreement ($5 million or more)
    • Women, Minority, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+ Business Ownership
    • Acceptable Worksites
    • New data entry requirements (LCP Tracker and B2G)
    • Workforce and Social Equity Planning
    • 2021 Project Preview

    Dates

    View the presentation from the workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

    Contact us

    For questions or to seek further information, please email SCWA@seattleschools.org.

    Program Components

    A construction worker in a hard hat poses for a photoPriority Hire has three components which create direct links into construction employment.

    1. The SCWA (signed agreement with unions and construction firms to hire trained and qualified SPS related students and families);
    2. Pre-apprenticeship training classes (the precursor training that prepares students, young adults and other workers to do construction work); and
    3. Priority access to paid apprenticeship work, both at SPS and for some, other construction work as well.

    Priorities

    Current SPS students: The Priority Hire program prepares and prioritizes interested students for the high-wage construction industry. It provides a pathway to preferred entry into apprenticeship jobs for qualified students and priority workers. Read more about Priority Hire.

    Current SPS families: The program prioritizes any wage-earner that has a currently-enrolled SPS student in their household, for hiring by the private contractors who construct SPS schools and large renovation projects (over $5 million in value). Read more about Priority Hire

    Other residents: Our neighborhoods and communities need to be strong and financially sufficient, with access to high-wage work that can stabilize families and communities. This program prioritizes those that live in economically distressed neighborhoods, using zip codes to identify the areas of greatest need. Read more about Priority Hire

    Construction workers: You do not need to be union to be hired on these projects, but you will work and receive union benefits for the duration of the job.

    Non-traditional construction workers: The construction worksite can have a challenging culture for LGBTQIA+ and women, Black and other workers that may not have many on the job who look like them. In addition to the worksite protections and the union representation at these covered job sites, SPS construction contracts for projects at or above $1 million in value will soon provide provisions that expect an appropriate worksite. SPS intends to continue being attentive to opportunities for ensuring a respectful worksite.

    African-American Males and Students of Color

    This program has specifically sought to ensure a welcome path for Black males, whether current or former students, or wage earners for a student family. SPS is committed to unapologetically support and serve students and families furthest from educational justice. The career success for all students of color show that college career paths are difficult to navigate and have lower college graduation outcomes. This construction career pathway gives a high-wage and no-debt career path, health care and retirement pensions for our union workers (for the duration of their work on a specific covered job).

    Pushing against gentrification

    Careers and employment are meaningful to a community that seeks race and social justice. It reflects how significant it is to work on a construction project for a neighborhood school their own child may attend, and having a high-wage career that gives financial stability to remain in their own neighborhood and home and thus enjoy the school you built.

    For Contractors

    SCWA is a negotiated contract between the local building construction trade unions and Seattle Public Schools. Read expectations and requirements for contractors.

    For SPS Students, Families, and Alumni

    Construction is a high-wage industry that is in high demand in Seattle. Seattle Public Schools has a special priority program to create a direct construction career pathway for students and wage-earners within a student family, for Black candidates and all people of color, as well as women and those from economically distressed areas in Seattle.