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Projects & Initiatives

EC Portland and other members of the Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity (MAWE) have crossed historic divides to develop and sign onto a regional Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). On September 5, 2012, Mayor Adams and the Portland City Council approved the CBA for use on City projects, and piloted the CBA on 2 Water Bureau projects totaling $100 million. The Community Benefits Agreement presents a three-pronged approach, which includes:

        • Concentrated efforts to promote inclusion, improve workforce diversity, increase utilization of disadvantaged businesses, and ensure workers are treated fairly and paid high-road wages.
        • Establishment of funds to support outreach, training, oversight and technical assistance for disadvantaged contractors.
        • Continuous oversight and improvement by a balanced Labor-Management-Community Committee representative of all CBA stakeholders.  MAWE truly walks the talk, and has elevated and valued community and disadvantaged contractor participation in this effort. 

Emerald Cities Portland continues to collaborate with MAWE (which includes many key Emerald Cities' partners) to implement a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) on two Portland Water Bureau Projects. The group is also promoting CBAs and creative approaches to workforce and contracting equity with a number of public owners.


EC Portland is wrapping up the Edith Green Workforce Mapping Project, after 9 months of collaborative work with CAWS/Worksystems Inc, Constructing Hope, Oregon Tradeswomen, Portland Community College, Portland YouthBuilders and the Urban League of Portland. The $133 million Edith Green - Wendell Wyatt Federal Building Modernization Project (managed by the General Services Administration and Howard S. Wright) will be completed in spring 2013. Funds from the Edith Green Project Labor agreement paid for collaborative partner involvement in the Workforce Mapping Project, and resulted in a construction career diagram and training program overview, extensive interviews and demographic information from apprenticeship coordinators and business managers at 16 regional construction trade unions, and white papers on hurdles to women and people of color in the construction trades and ideas for community and labor collaboration. EGWW is Oregon's largest federal project, which began in 2010 and is expected to employ over 2000 workers over the three-year timeline.


EC Portland joined the Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Partnership, which is focused on developing a commercial building performance competition, the Kilowatt Crackdown, designed to raise energy efficiency awareness, encourage energy benchmarking as a standard market practice, and promote enhanced building performance.  The Kilowatt Crackdown aims to deliver 1 – 2 MW of energy savings and $2 million in energy costs savings in 2013.  The partnership includes BOMA Oregon, BetterBricks (commercial building initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance), City of Portland, Energy Trust of Oregon, Clark County PUD, and Portland Development Commission.  The Mayor will introduce the competition at the BOMA Oregon meeting on September 27, 2012.


MPower Oregon, the on-bill approach to multifamily affordable housing energy efficiency retrofits, will pilot its first building in spring 2013. Emerald Cities Portland is working with partners to refine MPower Oregon's approach to high road standards and subcontracting. MPower applies the on-bill repayment approach, pioneered by Clean Energy Works Oregon in the residential sector, to the commercial sector and brings the benefits of energy efficiency and healthy homes to historically underserved communities. MPower Oregon secured a $3 million HUD Green Innovation Grant, has developed the legal and financial framework for the program, and is performing audits on buildings that have the right mix of efficiency measures and costs to test the model 2012 - 2014. Other organizations that are actively involved include: Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH); Enterprise Community Partners; Energy Trust of Oregon; Green For All; Craft3; Portland General Electric; and Blue Tree Strategies.



Casey Barnard: Project Director

3934 NE MLK Blvd. | Suite 101 | Portland, OR 97212 | W 978 387-8172 | F 503 249-0445 

About Casey

As Project Director for Emerald Cities Portland, Casey operates as a convener, facilitator and mediator.  Casey brings over nine years of experience in nonprofit management, affordable housing, community development, environmental advocacy and law to her role with Emerald Cities Portland.  She is a longtime advocate for social justice, environmental justice, and sustainable economic and community development.  Casey has served as an AmeriCorps Member, worked for an environmental foundation, coordinated rural community programming for the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and ran an internship program aimed at bringing more diversity to the conservation field.  Casey has a joint BA in Sociology-Anthropology and Psychology from Middlebury College, and a JD and Environmental Law Certificate from Lewis & Clark Law School.  Casey is licensed to practice law in Oregon and serves on Metro Regional Government's Public Engagement Review Committee.

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