Tens of billions of federal dollars are spent each year on the transportation construction industry. However, low-income people, women, and people of color are often locked out of these projects, robbing them of opportunities for job access, training, and the chance to build their lives, careers, and families.
The solution is TEN’s Missouri model.
The model was born in a two-year campaign by the Transportation Equity Network (TEN) and member organization Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU), which won an agreement from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to devote 30% of the workforce hours on a $550 million highway project to low-income apprentices. MODOT also agreed to devote 0.5% of the total project budget ($2.5 million) to job training.
It was the largest community benefits agreement in American history. The result: the project was finished 24 days ahead of schedule and $11 million under budget. It also allowed thousands of low-income people access to good jobs and job training to build their careers and communities.
The Missouri Model was born.
The model’s great success in Missouri has brought it national attention. Versions of the Missouri Model have been adopted in Kansas City, MO, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. MoDOT officials are in demand around the country by DOTs that want to duplicate their success.
The USDOT has funded a pilot project to encourage the use of the Missouri Model on a number of major transportation projects (with budgets of more than $500 million) around the country, including:
- Denver, CO – light rail commuter line (two projects - $2.42 billion total budget)
- Louisville, KY – Ohio River bridges ($4.1 billion budget)
- Hartford, CT – Connecticut Busway ($573 million budget)
- Phoenix, AZ – new freeway construction ($3.1 million budget)
- Brooklyn/Queens, NY – Kosciuzsko Bridge replacement ($670 million budget)
In each of these cities, TEN and Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) President Julie Cunningham have been holding two-day workshops on the Missouri Model with a diverse group of transportation officials, faith-based organizations, prime and subcontractors, and small businesses.
The workshops provide a blueprint for how to devote 30 percent of workforce hours on these projects to low-income people, women, and minorities, and invest 0.5-1% of total project budgets in job training.
The national adoption of the Missouri Model will increase the voice of low-income people in the projects that affect their communities, while expanding opportunity, training, and job access to build lives, careers, and families—something that’s good for all of America.
Green Construction Careers/Missouri Model One-Pager: A single-page handout on the Green Construction Careers (Missouri) Model.Download (229 KB Doc).
Missouri Department of Transportation Workplace Equity Agreement: Details of the agreement between TEN/MCU and MoDOT.Download (70 KB Doc).
Workfore Equity Language Document: Provides example language for use in negotiating workforce equity requirements. Download (37 KB Doc).
Organizational Results Report: A summary of the impact of workforce equity requirements done by MoDOT. Download (332 KB Doc).
Springfield Rail Community Benefits Agreement: A copy of the agreement used by FCCG in Springfield, IL. Download (29 KB Doc).
MoDOT Workforce Training Application: An example application from the training required by the Missouri Model agreement. View (1.5 MB).