Jobs to Move America urges all companies that are bidding for the contract to build America’s first modern high-speed trains to commit to creating good U.S. jobs and providing opportunities for disadvantaged Americans.

With high-speed rail, California recently broke ground on one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history. It promises to connect the state’s two largest metropolitan areas with passenger trains that will propel the state into a new era of modern transportation. High-speed rail in California also has the potential to spark a return to manufacturing in the United States. The California High Speed Rail Authority is well positioned to harness the spending power of billions of United States taxpayer dollars to create lasting, quality American manufacturing jobs.

American cities spend about $5.4 billion each year on the purchase of buses and rail cars for public transportation, with much of the production occurring outside the country. For too long, we’ve purchased buses and passenger trains without thinking about creating quality jobs, generating opportunities for unemployed Americans or reviving struggling communities.  Global manufacturing companies that seek contracts to build high-speed trains need to step up to create good jobs for workers in the United States. This approach has worked in the past, and it can work in California.

High-speed rail could become one of the greatest economic development programs in the state’s history, providing both a train system that will benefit Californians for generations and support up to 20,000 good U.S. and California jobs.

We urge companies to build the trains in the United States. And they should spell out their plans for creating good U.S. jobs and for reaching out to workers that have been historically under-represented in manufacturing jobs such as veterans, residents of low-income communities, women and people of color.

We urge California to remain focused on keeping job creation as a principal goal of the high-speed rail program and we urge the global manufacturing companies vying for this contract to lay the groundwork for good U.S. jobs, outreach to disadvantaged communities, and training opportunities to cultivate a skilled U.S. workforce.

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Jobs to Move America is a coalition of labor, faith, policy and social justice organizations  committed to reinvigorating transportation manufacturing to create good American jobs and spur economic growth. For more information on Jobs to Move America, please visit http://www.jobstomoveamerica.org