SD Rostra

San Diego Community College Students Lose Job Opportunities; Southwestern College governing board vote bars non-union students

Scott Crosby, CEO, ABC San Diego / 619-518-3450

(Poway, California) – Hundreds of San Diego Community College students will be prohibited from working on Southwestern College (SWC) Prop R funded construction projects under a proposed Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) to be voted on Wednesday by the SWC Governing Board.

The students will be barred from applying for these construction jobs because the proposed CBA excludes all non-union students. San Diego Community College students are enrolled in state-registered apprenticeship programs affiliated with the Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego, a construction association that includes members who choose not to sign union collective bargaining agreements.

“The construction unions who put these politicians in office will profit most from this deal,” said Scott Crosby, President and CEO of ABC San Diego. “It looks like another pay-to-play scheme to me.

“The District’s vision statement, published on its website, pledges to ‘build an exceptional community of learners and leaders who will promote social, educational and economic advancement.’ This vision seems to apply only to those who are members of a labor union,” said Crosby.

This class of barred students includes construction apprentices living in Chula Vista, Bonita, Imperial Beach, National City, and the southern portion of the City of San Diego.

“Southwestern board members are excluding highly qualified students from job opportunities over the life of Prop R funded construction because they lack union affiliation. Southwestern is a publicly funded community college, and all apprentices should have an opportunity to compete for jobs there,” says Sherry Yarbrough, Executive Director of the ABC San Diego Apprentice Training Trust.

The proposed CBA is similar to the type of “government mandated” project labor agreement (PLA) prohibited in the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego. Voters in these communities rejected government mandated PLAs in separate initiatives conducted in June 2010, November 2010, and June 2012.

About ABC San Diego

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The San Diego Chapter of ABC represents construction and construction-related firms throughout San Diego County. To find out more about ABCSD, visit

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