Who is Jobs to Move America?

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Jobs to Move America is a national coalition uniting more than 30 community, labor, faith, civil rights, philanthropic, academic and environmental groups.

Learn more about our CoalitionSteering CommitteeStaffFunders, and Academic Advisors.

What is Jobs to Move America?

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Jobs to Move America is a national project dedicated to ensuring that the billions of public dollars spent on public transit systems create better results for our communities: good jobs, cleaner equipment and more opportunity for low income people.

American cities spend about $5.4 billion each year to buy buses and rail cars for public transportation systems.  Much of this money goes to global companies who manufacture significant portions of our buses and trains overseas, bypassing millions of unemployed Americans and struggling communities.

Air pollution from old, dirty buses and trains also disrupts our climate and harms public health. We need to replace these old vehicles with clean and efficient buses, trains and streetcars.

Jobs to Move America has a plan make our transit dollars go the distance — to build cleaner public transit systems, create and retain good American jobs, and generate opportunities for unemployed Americans like veterans, single parents, and residents of low-income neighborhoods.

Learn more about our efforts to make our transit dollars go the distance.

Jobs to Move America’s policy tool called the “U.S. Employment Plan” encourages bus and rail manufacturing companies to create good American jobs when they receive multimillion-dollar contracts paid for with taxpayer funds. Learn more about how the U.S. Employment Plan can help create new jobs and new factories across America.

Why Jobs to Move America?

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With Jobs to Move America, our communities can harness billions of taxpayer dollars to create good jobs in new factories, lift up low-income communities, and upgrade America’s transit network with clean, efficient trains and buses.

Based on annual spending levels of about $5.4 billion, bus and rail car purchases could support up to 53,000 good American jobs.

(Jobs figures are measured in jobs years and based on LAANE calculations using a methodology developed  by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/research_brief/PERI_transit_domestic_content.pdf)

The cities of Washington D.C., San Diego, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and Salt Lake City are all planning large public transportation projects; creating hundreds of new transit lines over the next decade.

(In 2013, Reconnecting America found 721 under construction and planned fixed guideway transit projects in 109 regions of the United States. http://reconnectingamerica.org/spacerace/spaceracemap.html)

Is Jobs to Move America Winning?

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Jobs to Move America and the U.S. Employment Plan have already proven effective.

Jobs to Move America began in 2012, when the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority implemented a U.S. Employment Plan. The Transportation Authority awarded a $305 million contract to New Flyer Industries — whose workers are represented by a labor union — to build 550 clean-fuel buses. New Flyer was awarded the bid over a non-union company who proposed creating 40% less U.S. jobs. The company built a new service and assembly center in the LA area and has added 150 new jobs to its existing factory in Minnesota.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority also used the U.S. Employment Plan in a purchase of 235 Light Rail Vehicles worth $900 million.

In January 2014, Amtrak and the California High Speed Rail Authority jointly issued a Request for Proposals for companies to manufacture 43 high-speed “train sets,” a contract worth an estimated $3 billion. The RFP included a strong version of the U.S. Employment Plan – requiring bidding companies to disclose comprehensive plans to create American manufacturing jobs, invest in U.S. factories, provide training and workforce development, and recruit disadvantaged workers such as veterans – and scoring the responses.

While on June 20, 2014, the transit agencies opted to cancel their joint manufacturing plan, concluding that their needs were too different to be addressed in a single contract, Amtrak and the California High Speed Rail Authority have expressed their continued commitment to building high speed trains in the United States, creating good U.S. jobs and providing opportunities for disadvantaged Americans like veterans, residents of low-income communities, and people of color.

Some of the largest manufacturing companies in the world — Kawasaki, Hyundai Rotem, Siemens, Bombardier, Alstom, CNR, CSR, Nippon Sharyo, Kinki Sharyo, Hitachi, AnsaldoBreda and Talgo — are expected to vie for the high speed train contracts.

(Fresno Bee, “California, Amtrak team up for electric train bids,” Tim Sheehan, September 14, 2013. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/09/14/3498055/california-amtrak-team-up-for.html)