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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2019 09:53 AM
From: Representative Jared G. Solomon
To: All House members
Subject: Community Benefits Agreements for State Grants
Every year, the state of Pennsylvania awards millions of dollars in grants to projects in all 67 counties. At the same time, the Legislature and the Governor are working diligently to revamp the workforce development and career and technical education system. My bill will marry these two issues and use the power of the state’s grantmaking to boost the prospects of working people in the very communities where we are investing our grant dollars.

This bill will require projects that receive significant state funding to develop and execute robust Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs). Whether it be Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) or other programs, grant applicants will be required to outline how they will work to provide apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, internship, and employment opportunities to the people in the project’s vicinity. These CBAs will not just be words on paper, but promises that must be delivered before all or a portion of the grant funds are released to the applicant.

In the past thirty years we’ve awarded over $5 billion in RACP grants alone. Just think of what the impact could have been had we required even modest community benefits from each of these projects for the families of our state. From young people starting their employment journey, to adults looking to increase their earnings potential, this bill will help people across our state on their quest for family-sustaining careers.

By attaching these important conditions to State grants we can ensure that we get the most bang for our buck as possible, and that we are spurring the career growth of our citizens as much as the economic growth of our Commonwealth.