Los Angeles — Representatives of bus manufacturing companies joined community and labor groups on Thursday to learn about best practices in workforce development, achieving workforce diversity, and outreach to underserved workers in a webinar hosted by Jobs to Move America and its partners.

Companies are preparing to submit proposals to LA Metro by November 18th for the compressed natural gas component of the Request for Proposals (RFP) and January 6th for the zero emission bus portion of the RFP. Five manufacturers are, competing for a multimillion-dollar contract to manufacture up to 1000 CNG buses and up to 200 zero-emission buses to serve Los Angeles County. The agency’s RFP includes a local employment plan component that asks bidders to outline commitments to California jobs, diverse hiring, local facilities, and workforce training investments in California. If adopted, the plan has the potential to create or retain thousands of jobs for U.S. workers.

The JMA webinar was designed to help manufacturers develop a competitive local employment plan proposals to respond to LA Metro’s RFP. The webinar featured local and national workforce development programs with presentations from the Los Angeles Black Worker Center and PV Jobs, the California Labor Federation Workforce and Economic Development Program, Transportation Learning Center, and the Keystone Development Partnership.  Their presentations shed light on the innovative ways to recruit more women, people of color and underrepresented groups to manufacturing while building career pathways and industry apprenticeship programs to ensure these workers are successful in building high-quality vehicles.

“At a time when Los Angeles is prioritizing public transportation, we want to inspire companies competing to make LA’s buses commit to creating U.S. jobs and opportunities for underrepresented communities, including women and people of color,” said Jake Williams, Senior Workforce Development Coordinator at JMA.

“Labor management training partnerships, like the Keystone Transit Career Ladder Partnership, have been a win-win for both workers and companies and I can’t say enough about the value of the labor management process to produce quality programs,” said Stuart Bass of the Keystone Development Partnership.