2017 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Prevailing wage laws are government-determined wage mandates with outdated job restrictions that do not match the needs of today’s competitive construction business environment.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 8 A A A B C A F
Alaska 44 D D F F D C D
Arizona 3 A A A A B B C
Arkansas 2 A A A A D A D
California 39 D D F A C A B
Colorado 27 C A F B C A A
Connecticut 31 D C F A B A D
Delaware 34 C D F B B D D
District of Columbia 47 D F F A D B D
Florida 9 A A A A C B A
Georgia 12 A A A A D A C
Hawaii 45 D D F D C A A
Idaho 16 A A A F C A B
Illinois 51 F F F C F D D
Indiana 22 C A A A D A D
Iowa 11 A A A F A A A
Kansas 20 A A A F F A D
Kentucky 21 C A A A D B D
Louisiana 6 A A A A A D C
Maine 33 B D F C C A F
Maryland 36 D D F A C B D
Massachusetts 37 D F F C A A B
Michigan 24 A A A C C A C
Minnesota 40 D D F C B D B
Mississippi 13 A A A C C A F
Missouri 30 A D F B C A D
Montana 32 A D F F A C D
Nebraska 28 C F A D C A C
Nevada 23 A D A A D A A
New Hampshire 26 C A F A C D D
New Jersey 46 D D F C D A C
New Mexico 48 C D F F F D D
New York 49 F F F F C A C
North Carolina 5 A A A A C A D
North Dakota 10 A A A A C C B
Ohio 35 C D F B C A C
Oklahoma 14 A A A A F A C
Oregon 43 C D F B F D B
Pennsylvania 42 C D F B F A D
Rhode Island 41 C D F F A C D
South Carolina 7 A A A B C A C
South Dakota 18 A A A F C B D
Tennessee 17 A B A B C A C
Texas 29 C F A A D C C
Utah 19 A A A C D C B
Vermont 39 B D F F D A D
Virginia 1 A A A A A A D
Washington 50 F F F B C C A
West Virginia 4 A A A B B A F
Wisconsin 15 A A A B C A C
Wyoming 25 B D A F A A D