Mortenson emphasizes community benefits for $2B Las Vegas Raiders stadium
- Mortenson Construction has led the effort, spearheaded by long-time employee Lynn Littlejohn, to ensure that the citizens and business communities of Las Vegas and Nevada benefit from construction of the Raiders new $1.9 billion NFL stadium, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Mortenson and the Raiders have worked with the Las Vegas Stadium authority, the minority business community and public and private agencies to put together what the team refers to as the best community benefits agreement ever drafted. One provision of the deal requires that minority and female workers perform 38% of construction work hours. Mortenson has also been working with its project partner, McCarthy Builders of Henderson, to build a database of qualified small businesses and minority contractors that can potentially do work at the stadium.
- The public investment in the project is $750 million, and the state Senate bill that authorized the spend specifically defined the need for a development plan that would benefit the community. Still, there are activist groups that oppose such a sizable public contribution altogether or want a bigger benefits package.
Mortenson Construction is not only known for its expertise in building sports stadiums and arenas but for meeting established hiring goals, whether dealing with unions or other hiring programs.
In July 2016, the company struck a project labor agreement (PLA) deal with local trade unions and workers on the new $524 million Milwaukee Bucks arena. The agreement provided benefits for workers, like a prevailing wage pay scale, but the Bucks PLA also provided for a dispute resolution process that eliminated the chance of a strike, walkout, lockout or anything else that could hold up construction.
On the new Minnesota Vikings stadium project, the state of Minnesota set goals of 32% minority workers and 6% women workers. Mortenson announced in October of 2015 that it had surpassed those marks with 37% minority workers and 9% women.
But given the current labor shortage, it could be more difficult to draw in qualified workers representing any demographic. Through March 2017, Detroit fined contractors on the Detroit Red Wings' new Little Caesars Arena almost $3 million because they did not meet the city's 51% local hiring requirement. Local officials said the contractors had made a satisfactory effort to meet the requirements through job fairs, training and other community outreach, but that there weren't enough qualified workers available in the area.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal Mortenson Construction veteran promotes inclusion programs
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