BEAD: Workforce Requirements

February 6, 2024

BEAD is a “once” opportunity, and it comes with many requirements. Workforce requirements represent an area that may be new waters for ISPs. Vantage Point Analyst, Shelby Pardy, provides a framework on how to tackle this piece of your application.

One objective of BEAD funding is to foster a diverse and highly skilled workforce aimed at enhancing job opportunities and meeting future labor demands. To comply with these requirements, it’s critical to have a plan ready for immediate action. Below are essential steps to take now. 

Develop Partnerships   

BEAD funding prioritizes the formation and advancement of partnerships. Potential partners include: 

  • Employers 
  • Education and training institutions 
  • Public workforce systems 
  • Unions and worker organizations 
  • Community-based organizations 

Ensure that new job opportunities reach a diverse pool of applicants. Initiatives like registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships are strongly encouraged. Begin by exploring whether local colleges offer telecommunications-related courses. 

Gather Your Documentation. 

Prepare ahead of the BEAD funding application period by compiling the following documents: 

  • A record of your compliance with federal labor and employment laws, including any violations and corrective strategies. Include information on subcontractors. 
  • Applicable wage scales for your project, factoring in standard and overtime pay. 
  • A roster of your partnerships with labor and community organizations. 

Develop Action Plans.  

Prepare detailed plans for each of the following.  

Workforce Safety: 

  • Establishment of a Workforce Safety Committee. 
  • Strategies to enhance workforce safety and productivity.

Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wages 

  • Impact assessment on labor costs. 
  • Estimation of the overall project cost increase. 

Utilization of Local Talent: 

  • Evaluation of the available local talent pool. 

State-Specific Requirements 

Note: Your state may have additional requirements concerning the following items. 

Labor Relations: 

  • Unionization status of the workforce. 
  • Employment nature of the workforce (direct employment vs. subcontracted). 
  • Project labor agreements, including mechanisms for resolving labor disputes and assurances against strikes and lockouts to maintain a dependable labor force. 
  • Pledges to maintain union neutrality. 
  • Labor peace agreements. 

Labor Standards: 

  • Procedures to prevent the misclassification of workers. 

Bidding Process: 

  • Criteria for bidder selection, irrespective of union affiliation. 
  • Enforceable agreements required for bidders. 

As you navigate the complexities of BEAD funding and labor workforce requirements, it’s important to have a knowledgeable ally in your corner. The Vantage Point team is well-versed in these areas and stands ready to provide guidance or answer questions you may have along this journey. Our goal is to support your efforts in creating an equitable and skilled workforce, ensuring that you can focus on the vital work you do without missing a beat.  

We’re here to help you – BEAD and beyond. Fill out the form to get connected with a Vantage Point expert. 

Learn more about Vantage Point and BEAD solutions. 

BEAD is one component of a bigger discussion.

Let’s start that conversation here.