The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors unanimously adopted a motion to establish an agency-wide Good Jobs and Equity Policy that will cover billions of dollars of taxpayer-purchased trains, buses, and equipment today. The motion was introduced by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and included five co-authors from the Board: Los Angeles City Los Angeles City Mayor and Metro Chair Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Duarte Mayor John Fasana, and Metro Director Jacqueline Dupont-Walker.
Under this new policy, for future train, bus, and related equipment purchases, Metro will apply the U.S. Employment Plan to all projects above $100 million to incentivize companies bidding on Metro contracts to create and retain high-quality jobs, partner with community and labor organizations to apprenticeship programs, and hire individuals facing barriers to employment.
“As the Secretary of Labor under President Obama, I have a deep and steadfast commitment to maximizing job creation and career development, with a special emphasis on providing employment to low-income residents and those facing barriers to employment said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda L. Solis. “It is exciting to kick start this new year with new jobs for County residents. This policy helps achieve equitable outcomes throughout the region. Thank you to our partners and the Metro Board for making this policy a reality.”
Motion co-author and Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said, “I was very happy to see this motion pass unanimously today, as it builds on Metro’s work and takes our tax dollars even further by operating a robust transit system while creating middle-class jobs targeted specifically at our communities in greatest need.”
When Metro piloted the USEP for a 2013 railcar contract with Kinkisharyo Ltd., the company committed to create 250 jobs — since then the company has since created 400 jobs in the City of Palmdale. The workforce is represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 and workers earn $21 an hour on average. According to research from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, considering the value of Metro’s vehicle fleet and other manufactured equipment, this policy could generate tens of thousands of local jobs for years to come.
“We can duplicate the successes we’ve seen in the Antelope Valley for workers around Los Angeles County and the rest of the country. Together we can make Los Angeles County a transit manufacturing hub, while providing pathways to good, family-sustaining jobs,” said Moises Hernandez of United Steelworkers Local 675.
Remarking on the USEP’s emphasis on opportunities for returning citizens, veterans, single parents, and other groups facing challenges to obtaining gainful employment, Pastor Amos Young, Director of Community and Government Affairs for Project Caring and Sharing Family Services said, “This Good Jobs and Equity policy prioritizes workers who are facing multiple, significant barriers to employment. We look forward to continuing to work with Metro, and our coalition, to ensure that clients of PCS Family Services and job seekers who have difficulty securing employment, can benefit from these opportunities.”