Non-profit

Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)

Website:

www.cpwr.com/

Location:

SILVER SPRING, MD

Tax ID:

52-1172454

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $15,016,110
Expenses: $14,681,908
Assets: $9,771,077

Founded:

1990

President & Chair of the Board:

Sean McGarvey

Executive Director:

Christine Trahan Cain

Executive Director's Salary (2019):

$259,405

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is a union-controlled and government-funded occupational safety research and training organization operated by the AFL-CIO-affiliated North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). CPWR is almost entirely funded by federal grants and leverages its role in the development and dissemination of federal workplace “best practices” to promote increased unionization of the construction industry workforce and discourage the use of non-unionized workers and contractors. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Leadership and Union Relationship

CPWR—the Center for Construction Research and Training was founded in 1990 as the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights. Its name was changed to “CPWR—the Center for Construction Research and Training” in 2008. [5]

CPWR is controlled by construction industry labor unions. Its leadership has always been drawn from North America’s Building Trades Unions executives, with the AFL-CIO’s president of building and construction trades traditionally holding the post of CPWR president. The current president and board chair of CPWR, Sean McGarvey, has been NABTU’s president since 2012. [6] His predecessors Mark H. Ayers and Edward C. Sullivan filled both roles as well. [7] [8]

CPWR executive director Christine Trahan Cain was reportedly one of two candidates endorsed by labor unions to lead the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as the Biden administration’s Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [9]

While the CPWR is a nominally independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, its relationship with the AFL-CIO is so close that CPWR’s employees participate in AFL-CIO retirement plans. [10]

Advocacy

CPWR—the Center for Construction Research and Training uses its federal funding to promote unionized construction workers and contractors and attack their non-unionized competitors. It does so primarily by focusing research resources and efforts on highlighting safety differences between large, unionized contractors and their smaller, non-union competitors or self-employed construction workers. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

The CPWR has also used safety issues among immigrant construction workers to encourage unionization of immigrant trades workers and criticize smaller, non-union construction contractors that are more likely to employ such workers. [17]

Funding

CPWR—the Center for Construction Research and Training is almost entirely funded by federal government grants, which comprised 96 percent of its revenues in both 2020 and 2021. [18] Between 1998 and 2020, CPWR received more than 165 federal grants. [19]

Its largest grant in 2021 was a $5.9 million stipend from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to operate its Center for Construction Research and Training. [20] Since 2002, the CPWR has received at least five grants a year from NIOSH. [21]

In 2019, it made $600,460 in grants to university researchers. [22] It also reported $985,642 in grants that year to unions and union affiliates for training purposes.

Relationship with Federal Agencies

CPWR—the Center for Construction Research and Training’s initiatives are funded and promoted by federal agencies, including the U.S Department of Energy, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). [23] [24] Since 1990, the CPWR has operated the National Center for Construction Safety and Health on behalf of the NIH’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). [25] In 2019, CPWR renewed its “alliance” agreement with OSHA for five years. [26]

The CPWR’s National Resource Center trains federal and state agency OSHA compliance officers and union training instructors, giving it significant influence with construction industry regulators. [27]

COVID-19 Response

In April 2020, CPWR—the Center for Construction Research and Training and North America’s Building Trades Unions released what they referred to as a “national standard” for COVID-19 infectious disease management in construction workplaces. [28] In a speech the next year to the national convention of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, NABTU President Sean McGarvey said that NABTU’s governing board had “directed CPWR” to develop the standard before OSHA had completed and released its national standard, which it did the next month. [29] McGarvey claimed that the standard was necessary because then-Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia was focused on “corporate America,” but the construction industry had already been the fourth industry to receive an interim industry-specific COVID “alert” from OSHA after retail, package delivery and manufacturing. [30] [31]

OSHA’s formal COVID guidance for the construction industry was released on May 26, less than a month after the CPWR’s standard. [32] The CPWR recommendation was broadly more restrictive than the OSHA standards. For instance, the CPWR standard included requirements for construction workers to use complicated respirators when in proximity to each other while OSHA’s guidance, by comparison, called for cloth face coverings or surgical masks unless the worker’s job required respirators for some other reason. [33] The CPWR standard also called for altering work schedules and staggering shifts under the control of union representatives, as well as for paid sick leave not only for workers with COVID-19 but also for all other workers who had close contacts with them. [34] OSHA’s guidance, however, simply called for sick workers to be told to stay home.

When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that construction workplace injuries had declined between 2020 and 2021 while the overall injury/illness rate had stayed unchanged, CPWR executive director Christine Trahan Cain claimed that the reduction was “largely” due to a decrease in COVID-19 infections, despite such infections making up less than half of the reported year-over-year reduction in the BLS data. [35]

References

  1. Xuanwen Wang, Rebecca Katz, and Xiuwen Sue Dong, “Union Effect on Safety Management and Safety Culture in the …,” Union Effect on Safety Management and Safety Culture in the Construction Industry (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, May 2018), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325019667_Union_Effect_on_Safety_Management_and_Safety_Culture_in_the_Construction_Industry. ^
  2. “Small Construction Companies Lag on Safety, Report Says,” Concrete Construction, September 8, 2016, https://www.concreteconstruction.net/business/small-construction-companies-lag-on-safety-report-says_o. ^
  3. Linda M Goldenhar, Stacey Kohler Moran, and Michael Colligan, “Health and Safety Training in a Sample of Open-Shop Construction Companies,” Journal of Safety Research 32, no. 2 (2001): pp. 237-252, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0022-4375(01)00045-7. ^
  4. Chris Trahan Cain, “The Union Effect on Contractor Safety Management Programs,” The union effect on Construction Safety Management; skin cancer in construction (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, July 2018), https://www.cpwr.com/update_newsletter/the-union-effect-on-contractor-safety-management-programs/. ^
  5.  “Highlights 2008 – CPWR,” CPWR Annual Report (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, 2008), https://www.cpwr.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/CPWRHighlights2008.pdf. ^
  6. “Speaker Details: Sean McGarvey,” Talent forward: Lead on talent, lead the world (U.S. Chamber of Commerce), accessed November 29, 2022, https://events.uschamberfoundation.org/LeadonTalent/speaker/351310/sean-mcgarvey. ^
  7. “Highlights 2008 – CPWR,” CPWR Annual Report (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, 2008), https://www.cpwr.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/CPWRHighlights2008.pdf. ^
  8. “2007 – CPWR,” CPWR Annual Report (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, 2007), https://www.cpwr.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/CPWRHighlights2007.pdf. ^
  9. Ben Penn, Bruce Rolfsen, and Josh Eidelson, “Unions Float Two Picks to Be Workplace Safety Chief under Biden,” Bloomberg Law, November 19, 2020, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/unions-float-two-picks-to-be-workplace-safety-chief-under-biden. ^
  10. Calibre CPA Group, “CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training – Financial Statements and Reports Required by the Uniform Guidance,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, p. 13, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_audit/19443520211. ^
  11. Xuanwen Wang, Rebecca Katz, and Xiuwen Sue Dong, “Union Effect on Safety Management and Safety Culture in the …,” Union Effect on Safety Management and Safety Culture in the Construction Industry (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, May 2018), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325019667_Union_Effect_on_Safety_Management_and_Safety_Culture_in_the_Construction_Industry. ^
  12. “Small Construction Companies Lag on Safety, Report Says,” Concrete Construction, September 8, 2016, https://www.concreteconstruction.net/business/small-construction-companies-lag-on-safety-report-says_o. ^
  13. Linda M Goldenhar, Stacey Kohler Moran, and Michael Colligan, “Health and Safety Training in a Sample of Open-Shop Construction Companies,” Journal of Safety Research 32, no. 2 (2001): pp. 237-252, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0022-4375(01)00045-7. ^
  14. Chris Trahan Cain, “The Union Effect on Contractor Safety Management Programs,” The union effect on Construction Safety Management; skin cancer in construction (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, July 2018), https://www.cpwr.com/update_newsletter/the-union-effect-on-contractor-safety-management-programs/. ^
  15. “Self-Employed in Residential Construction at Higher Risk of Fall Fatalities, Study Finds,” Bloomberg Law, June 12, 2014, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/self-employed-in-residential-construction-at-higher-risk-of-fall-fatalities-study-finds. ^
  16. “Correlation between Unions and Worker Safety,” OSHA Training, accessed November 29, 2022, http://osha10hrtraining.com/blog/worker-safety-articles/worker-safety-and-unions/. ^
  17. “Immigrant Workers in U.S. Construction: Sharing Lessons Learned in Our Unions,” CPWR (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training and Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley , 2010), https://www.cpwr.com/wp-content/uploads/immigrant_workers_in_construction_cpwr-lohp_report.pdf. ^
  18.  Calibre CPA Group, “CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training – Financial Statements and Reports Required by the Uniform Guidance,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_audit/19443520211. ^
  19.  “Center for Construction Research and Training,” Grantome, accessed November 29, 2022, https://grantome.com/search?q=Center+for+Construction+Research+and+Training. ^
  20. “Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) PPOP,” The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 1, 2022), https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/ppops/cpwr.html. ^
  21.  “Center for Construction Research and Training,” Grantome, accessed November 29, 2022, https://grantome.com/search?q=Center+for+Construction+Research+and+Training. ^
  22. “CPWR the Center for Construction Research and Training Form 990,” ProPublica, accessed November 29, 2022, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521172454/05_2021_prefixes_47-52%2F521172454_202006_990_2021051118086333. ^
  23. “CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR),” Occupational Safety and Health Administration (US Department of Labor), accessed November 29, 2022, https://www.osha.gov/alliances/cpwr/cpwr. ^
  24. “Building Trades National Medical Screening Program,” Energy.gov (U.S. Department of Energy), accessed November 29, 2022, https://www.energy.gov/ehss/building-trades-national-medical-screening-program. ^
  25. “Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) PPOP,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 1, 2022), https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/ppops/cpwr.html. ^
  26. Guy Burdick, “Alliance Renewed between OSHA and CPWR,” EHS Daily Advisor, August 6, 2019, https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2019/08/alliance-renewed-between-osha-and-cpwr/. ^
  27.  “National Resource Center,” CPWR (CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training), accessed November 29, 2022, https://www.cpwr.com/training/osha-education-center/. ^
  28. “Nabtu and CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training Announce National Disease Control Standard for U.S. Construction Sites,” NABTU, April 30, 2020, https://nabtu.org/press_releases/nabtu-and-cpwr-the-center-for-construction-research-and-training-announce-national-disease-control-standard-for-u-s-construction-sites/. ^
  29. “Day One,” The Ironworker (the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, August 9, 2021), https://lsc-pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=728497&article_id=4157913&view=articleBrowser. ^
  30.  “U.S. Department of Labor Issues Alert to Help Keep Construction Workers Safe during the Coronavirus Pandemic,” OSHA National News Release (U.S. Department of Labor, April 21, 2020), https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/04212020. ^
  31. “Archived OSHA Resources,” Occupational Safety and Health Administration (U.S. Department of Labor), accessed November 29, 2022, https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/news-updates. ^
  32. “U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Issues Guidance to Help Construction Workers During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Occupational Safety and Health Administration (U.S. Department of Labor, May 26, 2020), https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/05262020. ^
  33. “Covid-19 Guidance for Construction Workers,” Occupational Safety and Health Administration (U.S. Department of Labor), accessed November 29, 2022, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA4000.pdf. ^
  34. Nabtu and CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training Announce National Disease Control Standard for U.S. Construction Sites,” NABTU, April 30, 2020, https://nabtu.org/press_releases/nabtu-and-cpwr-the-center-for-construction-research-and-training-announce-national-disease-control-standard-for-u-s-construction-sites/. ^
  35. Tom Ichniowski, “Construction Nonfatal Injuries and Illnesses Are down, Injury Rate Flat,” Engineering News-Record (Engineering News-Record, November 10, 2022), https://www.enr.com/articles/55290-construction-nonfatal-injuries-and-illnesses-are-down-injury-rate-flat. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Sean McGarvey
    Board Chair & President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1999

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jun Form 990 $15,016,110 $14,681,908 $9,771,077 $3,276,220 N $14,371,058 $611,621 $22,057 $479,985 PDF
    2019 Jun Form 990 $16,173,042 $15,652,022 $9,245,271 $3,084,616 N $15,376,261 $759,552 $24,889 $474,226 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $16,639,390 $16,141,652 $8,099,548 $2,459,913 N $15,849,110 $762,823 $14,787 $464,375 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $16,356,786 $16,015,944 $8,236,421 $3,094,524 N $15,595,229 $735,260 $14,596 $519,436 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $15,569,062 $15,292,388 $7,311,503 $2,510,448 N $14,894,127 $652,685 $13,739 $518,276
    2015 Jun Form 990 $15,150,431 $14,775,502 $7,378,876 $2,854,495 N $14,440,906 $688,161 $11,670 $506,261 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $15,049,090 $14,737,594 $6,376,311 $2,226,859 N $14,374,114 $659,465 $0 $500,165 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $15,192,560 $14,761,699 $6,645,090 $2,807,134 N $14,377,013 $796,445 $6,092 $493,001 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $15,159,375 $14,965,539 $6,468,021 $3,060,926 N $14,211,031 $929,619 $9,233 $480,400 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $14,807,379 $14,744,866 $6,170,518 $2,957,259 N $13,773,140 $1,003,049 $15,948 $291,108 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)

    8484 GEORGIA AVE STE 1000
    SILVER SPRING, MD 20910-5618