There was a telling moment at the signing ceremony for the DC soccer stadium legislation on Tuesday, December 30th 2014, when Mayor Gray distributed pens to those instrumental in getting the job done. After handing out pens to the soccer team, Allen Lew, his city administrator and even Council Chairman Phil Mendelsohn, he looked around and asked; "who am I missing?" Standing in the back of the room I shouted back; "the PLA" to which he replied; "of course, where's Stephen Courtien?"
"The PLA" -of course- is the Project Labor Agreement negotiated between the team, the city and the construction trade unions for the building of the stadium. The remarkable Stephen Courtien, the person at the ceremony representing CHOICE a program of the building trade unions, is the one who negotiated this labor agreement (as well as the PLA for the baseball stadium) which establishes guidelines for local hiring, wage levels and the participation of small DC based businesses -the famous Certified Business Enterprises (CBE's).