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PLAs Feature in Syracuse Micron Plant Project

SMACNA champions PLAs as key element to ensure fair wages, skilled labor, and contracting transparency throughout a project.


Superconductor Manufacturer Micron intends to build a mega-complex of computer chip plants in Syracuse’s northern suburbs. The project, the largest of its kind in New York history, will create 9,000 jobs over the next two decades and boost the economy in the Syracuse region as a technology center in the Northeast and nationally.

One of the critical aspects of the massive microchip production campus in its quest for the scarce skilled labor and contractors necessary to complete a high-quality, complex facility will be a project labor agreement (PLA). PLAs are rapidly growing in numbers across the private and public sectors as highly useful because they provide structure and stability to large-scale construction projects, often suffering from a crisis in finding experienced contractors with a trained and skilled workforce. Such agreements support DOL-registered apprenticeship programs to address crisis-level shortages in the skilled workforce and target project labor-related disruptions using established dispute-resolution processes. In addition, PLAs generally prohibit work stoppages, including strikes and lockouts that can occur in the construction industry on a large scale, highly complex projects where dozens of firms, workers, and building trades are found. In addition, PLAs work to ensure that all contractors and subcontractors involved with a project meet their legal and contractual obligations, encouraging transparency from project launch to completion with on-time and on-budget outcomes.

SMACNA has long supported PLAs as a favored option for building owners and developers to consider when seeking highly skilled contractors and union labor on large projects, ensuring that the work meets the highest possible quality standards common in private sector projects, especially in the tech sector where no margin for error is acceptable.