The Access and Opportunity Network is a repository of news, strategies, resources and best practices to help create a more inclusive and equitable construction industry for minority-owned businesses and people of color.


Young carpenters in Roxbury, MA. Photo by Travis Watson

Young carpenters in Roxbury, MA. Photo by Travis Watson

The Boston Residents Jobs Policy (BRJP) was established in 1983 to set employment standards for construction projects in Boston. Several articles have been published about the challenges of meeting policy goals. (See: City wrestles with policing its jobs policy, Dorchester Reporter 3/1/12, Construction hiring goals not met in Boston, Boston Globe, 5/18/15, Builders in Boston missing diversity targets for jobs, Boston Globe, 8/28/15, Council Probes Boston jobs policy, Bay State Banner, 10/31/18.) People are missing the two most significant factors contributing to non-compliance: the lack of a baseline for the total number of residents, people of color and women employed in construction in Boston, and Massachusetts public bid law.


A worker at the Kroc Center, Boston. Photo by Travis Watson

A worker at the Kroc Center, Boston. Photo by Travis Watson

On paper, the Davis‐Bacon Act reads like a fantastic tool. And in many respects, it is. It has improved income disparities between white and black workers, facilitated equal pay for equal work, and helped stop wage theft. However, it’s important to understand the history of the Davis‐Bacon Act and how it has transitioned from a tool created to bar black workers to one that, however unintentionally, creates severe road‐blocks for Boston’s black‐owned contractors from working on projects, often right in their backyards.