2015 Data

PLA Mandates

Prevailing Wage

Right to Work

Public-Private Partnerships

Workforce Development

Career & Technical Education

Job Growth Rate





  • Overall Ranking
  • PLA Mandates
  • Prevailing Wage
  • Right to Work
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Workforce Development
  • Career & Technical Education
  • Job Growth Rate

Overall ranking (1-51) is determined through a combined score of the seven graded criteria. Ties in combined score being broken by performance on ABC core issues, with secondary consideration given to additional graded criteria.  

A project labor agreement (PLA) is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with labor organizations that sets forth the terms and conditions of employment for a particular construction project. Government-mandated PLAs are costly special interest schemes that end open, fair and competitive bidding on contracts to build taxpayer-funded construction projects. They discourage merit shop contractors from bidding on taxpayer-funded construction contracts and increase costs between 12 percent and 18 percent, which results in fewer infrastructure improvements and reduced construction industry job creation.

Currently, 24 states have a statute or executive order ensuring government neutrality in contracting by prohibiting government-mandated PLAs on projects funded by taxpayers.

Prevailing wage laws are government-determined wage mandates with outdated job restrictions that do not match the needs of today’s competitive construction business environment. Prevailing wage requirements discourage many qualified small and minority-owned contractors from bidding on public projects. State governments’ complex and inefficient wage rate determinations and work restrictions make it nearly impossible for them to compete with better capitalized corporations. Studies have shown that state prevailing wage laws (also known as Little Davis-Bacon laws) can needlessly inflate construction costs.

Twenty-two states do not have prevailing wage requirements on public projects.

Right to Work laws guarantee workers can seek employment without fearing they will be required to join (or pay) a union if they are hired. These laws simply allow workers who do not want to participate in collective bargaining to opt out of joining the union or paying dues or fees. If all or most of the members of a bargaining unit believe union representation will advance their interests, then nothing in a Right to Work law prohibits them from exercising their federally protected right to organize a union and collectively bargain with their employer.

Currently, 27 states have adopted Right to Work laws and some studies have suggested the economic growth in these states outpaces growth in states where workers are forced to join a union or pay a fee to organized labor as a condition of employment.

Public-private partnerships (P3s) allow public and private sector entities to enter into contracts in which both sectors share the risks and revenue of a project or class of projects. P3s are a tool in the procurement toolbox that can help alleviate budgetary issues and offer another route for financing and developing public projects, as well as improve the quality of services offered.

Thirty-seven states authorize P3s by statute, regulations or limited partnerships.

States can encourage high-quality training and/or certification of the construction workforce by financially incentivizing employers to train or retrain their workers through registered apprenticeship programs or other industry-recognized programs, or to hire workers that possess an industry-recognized credential or are graduates of an apprenticeship program.

In some states, business associations can benefit from financial incentives offered for workforce development and training programs. Incentives typically come in the form of grant funding or tax credits.

This category provides each state’s percentage of CTE high school graduates that are placed in post-secondary school or careers. While it is important that schools allow CTE courses to fulfill graduation requirements, it is crucial for CTE students to be on pathways following graduation. This percentage measures how effective schools have been in preparing students for continued education or careers. These CTE graduates will have an important role in filling the ever-growing skills gap and meeting the future workforce needs of the construction industry.

Information is also provided on whether a state recognizes National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum as approved curriculum for career and technical education programs. Created in 1996, NCCER is a not-for-profit education foundation developed with the support of over 100 construction CEO’s and various association and academic leaders to transform training for the construction industry. Their standardized training and credentialing program now offers curricula for over 70 craft areas and a complete series of more than 70 assessments offered in over 4,000 NCCER-accredited training and assessment locations across the United States.

This data tracks the Compound Annual Growth Rate in construction from 2011 to 2016 using figures from the month of August. The job growth rate percentage gives perspective on how the job market is growing or contracting in real terms and can provide insight into where the job market may be heading in the future.

Overall Ranking PLA Mandates Prevailing Wage Right to Work Public-Private Partnerships Workforce Development Career & Technical Education Job Growth Rate
Alabama 14 A A A C F C D
Alaska 50 D F F D F D D
Arizona 1 A A A A B A D
Arkansas 19 A F A B B D D
California 32 D F F B D B B
Colorado 22 C A F C D B B
Connecticut 33 D F F B D A D
Delaware 31 C F F C D C D
District of Columbia 44 D F F A F B N/A
Florida 8 C A A A D B B
Georgia 9 A A A A F D D
Hawaii 42 D F F D D B C
Idaho 10 A A A D D C B
Illinois 47 F F F C D D D
Indiana 18 D A A C D A F
Iowa 13 B A A D B D B
Kansas 12 A A A D D D C
Kentucky 37 D F F D D B D
Louisiana 2 A A A A C A D
Maine 35 C F F D D C D
Maryland 41 D F F A D D D
Massachusetts 28 D F F C B B C
Michigan 20 A F A D D C C
Minnesota 43 D F F D F C D
Mississippi 16 A A A D F B F
Missouri 34 C F F C D C D
Montana 30 A F F D C D D
Nebraska 26 C F A D D D D
Nevada 17 A F A C D B B
New Hampshire 27 C A F D D D D
New Jersey 48 F F F C D D D
New Mexico 51 D F F D F D F
New York 49 D F F D F B D
North Carolina 5 A A A B F A D
North Dakota 4 A A A B D D A
Ohio 38 D F F C F A D
Oklahoma 7 A A A D C C C
Oregon 36 D F F C D D C
Pennsylvania 45 D F F C D D D
Rhode Island 46 D F F D D C F
South Carolina 6 A A A B D D D
South Dakota 15 A A A D D C D
Tennessee 23 A F A D D D D
Texas 21 C F A A D B C
Utah 11 A A A D D D C
Vermont 40 C F F D D B D
Virginia 3 A A A A C A D
Washington 39 D F F C D C B
West Virginia 29 A F F C D B F
Wisconsin 25 D F A C D A D
Wyoming 24 C F A D B C D