City of New Orleans
With a population of nearly 400,000, the City of New Orleans is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. This, of course, can create some challenges for a municipality tasked with enforcing prevailing wage compliance. For this city, however, it was more than just that. They had developed programs to reinvest in the local community in an effort to recreate and update the metropolis with new, modern infrastructure, while also reinvigorating the local economy.
Even going as far back as the introduction of Hire NOLA program in 2015, the municipality sought to employ more local workers on its projects – which meant a colossal amount of tracking and reporting was needed. It aimed not only to increase the percentage of local hires employed on City-funded projects, but also to implement goals in hiring disadvantaged individuals in the area as well. And the City of New Orleans needed a way to report on this progress.
One of the Largest Contractors in the Nation
What happens when a Fortune 300 general contractor (GC) is awarded a massive $486 million project to overhaul infrastructure spanning an entire state? Some might call this a logistical nightmare – and understandably so. Most projects are confined to a single location – or, at least, within a single city or county. But this monstrosity? Try 113 counties.
The general contractor (GC) in this case, while technically contracted with the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT), had to act much like a project owner or construction management company would. The sheer scope required the project to be broken up into dozens of smaller “projects” or “clusters” of jobsites, and the GC agreed to work with the awarding body to ensure as many local contractors as possible were hired for the different clusters. In total, 21 prime contractors and 147 subcontractors worked on the project, and this was in addition to the work the GC performed, itself. This meant hundreds of workers across the state that were subject to prevailing wage, and the GC was ultimately responsible for ensuring that each of the contractors were held accountable. Easy, right?
As California’s Department of Transportation, Caltrans is responsible for overseeing all the transportation projects in California. It currently manages over $11.5 billion worth of construction for roughly 800 public works projects. And when you consider that the agency is split into 12 different districts – each previously having had its own database and separate labor compliance processes prior to adopting LCPtracker Pro – you can begin to understand the tremendous amount of work that its 55+ compliance officers needed to tackle.
At the higher level, some of their biggest challenges stemmed from the lack of continuity in how each district tracked compliance. Some would update spreadsheets; others would use a combination of various applications. A few even tried developing and paying for their own proprietary software, but everyone ultimately was tracking different things using different methods – many of which were manual and vulnerable to human error.
With two decades of industry experience and over 3,000 projects worth of compliance oversight under their belt, Alliant Consulting stands as one of the leading Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage consulting firms in the country. But when an organization provides services for as many projects and clients as they do – including renewable energy companies, construction management and engineering firms, developers, prime contractors, subcontractors, government agencies, etc. – it becomes painfully obvious that doing everything manually won’t cut it. Because one project doesn’t necessarily equate to one entity; it often means overseeing tens or hundreds of contractors – quickly adding up to thousands per year with all the projects they take on.
Great Scott Tree Care
As one of Southern California’s premier tree maintenance companies, Great Scott Tree Care services municipal, commercial, homeowner’s association (HOA), and many urban forest projects in Southern California. Since some of these projects are publicly funded in some capacity, Great Scott is often required to pay prevailing wages. And yes – although tree maintenance may not be the first thing people think of when they imagine the typical construction worker, it still fits under the definition of “laborers and mechanics” that are subject to prevailing wage.
As with any contractor familiar with public works projects, Great Scott knew they needed to ensure they were paying the correct rates. This meant applying the correct craft classifications and following the appropriate wage determinations – the latter being one of the bigger challenges for the company. Given that their municipal jobs are state-funded, they had to meet California’s state wage determinations, which are updated twice a year. And then, there were certified payroll reports…
Michigan Department of Transportation
9,668 road miles, 4,766 bridges, 665 railroad miles, 4 airports, 85 roadside parks, and 78 rest stops. No, these numbers are not from an epic cross-country road trip. They make up the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the government agency responsible for maintaining and constructing Michigan’s public transportation routes. With an annual budget in the billions, MDOT is responsible for making sure our bikes, feet, and cars have somewhere smooth to travel. In 2015, MDOT executed 750 highway construction projects totaling $1.2 billion. To manage these, MDOT hired 144 prime contractors and 700 subcontractors.
How does MDOT ensure contractors comply with a myriad of government regulations and prevailing wage certified payroll laws? The answer has historically been: a lot of paperwork. Until 2013, MDOT collected and verified their weekly Certified Payroll Reports (CPRs) on paper and stored them in walls of filing cabinets. In 2015 alone, MDOT collected over 20,000 CPRs.
LCPtracker provides the tools and customization MDOT needs to continue serving the citizens of Michigan.
West Coast Arborists
West Coast Arborists (WCA) provides services for professional tree maintenance and management for over 200 municipalities and public agencies throughout the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada. WCA has 8 office locations and proudly employs about 800 tree workers and arborists. With over 215 public works projects, certified payroll reporting was a tedious and time-consuming task of collecting and verifying prevailing wage data. WCA was entering all payroll data on paper on a request-only basis for 20 cities. These requests would take an entire week to complete with each averaging a full day of work. Reporting requirements were becoming stricter with the passage of laws such as SB 854 in California, and the need to streamline the process became urgent. The burden of certified payroll reports was only going to continue to increase.
With LCPcertified, West Coast Arborists is now completing payrolls with ample time to spare as well as increased accuracy.