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Portability Analysis Gets Top Marks
As of June 18, 2018

Published on: 
July 20, 2012
Press Release

An Economic Analysis of Portability is now available from ELECTRI International – The Foundation for the Electrical Construction Industry, Inc. The Foundation’s latest study focused on the workforce productivity enhancements that portability could bring to the electrical construction industry.

The Foundation awarded a 2010 grant to Justin Reginato, Ph.D., P.E., California State University, Sacramento to conduct the research and analysis on portability in the electrical construction industry. Portability refers to the right of signatory contractors to bring workers affiliated with one local union into a different region. Contractors maintain that restrictions on portability in labor agreements limit their competitiveness and ability to pursue work in new areas. With publication of this study, they now have facts and figures to support this position.

To compile the data, Reginato conducted in-depth interviews with 30 signatory contractors. Eighty percent confirmed that limits on portability prevent them from effectively pursuing “out-of-local” work.  The study explores the costs associated with portability and reports that the average portability multiplier is approximately an additional 13 percent of the bid price or higher for more complex projects.  The report also evaluated other costs associated with restrictive portability, including costs for hiring, testing, training and accounting.

The Analysis quantifies the economic issues associated with portability, details how signatory electrical contractors are put at a disadvantage because of the lack of portability, and demonstrates that fears associated with the concept of portability are less severe than commonly perceived. The ultimate goal is to create a workable compromise so that signatory contractors and IBEW members can be more jointly competitive in the construction industry.

“Portability is a tough subject for both labor and management to discuss,” said ELECTRI President Russ Alessi. “When appropriately implemented, portability is actually a tremendous benefit to both sides: workers get to keep their wages and benefits when they move to a new job, and contractors can successfully bid on new and different projects. This study provides important information to support everyone’s best interests.”

The Economic Analysis of Portability is available for here.

About ELECTRI: ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction, Inc. is the primary research arm of the electrical construction industry. Foundation research helps to improve the productivity, professionalism, and competitiveness of electrical contractors. ELECTRI International also represents the U.S. electrical construction industry internationally. For more information, visit

For additional information about ELECTRI International, contact Sylvia Selwood, ELECTRI Director of Operations and University Relations, at 301-215-4539 or