An executive order that requires the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects above $35 million has been signed by the President.

The White House says the Order will help alleviate the management and coordination challenges that can hinder progress on major construction projects. PLAs allow general contractors to negotiate with unions before the project begins to set the terms under which the project will be built. It can cover worker qualifications and pay, worksite conditions and the project’s timeline.

The Order could affect $262 billion in federal government construction, based on figures from 2021. The Order also directs Departments of Defense and Labor, as well as the Office of Management Budget to lead a training strategy for the nearly 40,000-person strong contracting workforce on the implementation of this Order’s policy, the statement reads.