Los Angeles – On Tax Day, April 18, the Jobs to Move America (JMA) coalition – including community, labor, civil rights, academic, philanthropic and environmental groups – held an action in front of the offices of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority calling on companies bidding for LA Metro’s $1 billion contract for heavy railcars to commit to creating good U.S. jobs for taxpayers, who are fully funding the project.
“With nearly 23 percent of Angelenos living in poverty, we need to utilize every opportunity to create jobs in the region. That’s why we’re working hard to ensure the billions of dollars being invested in transportation are creating jobs for our communities and improving livelihoods for workers across the country,” said JMA’s LA organizer Diego Janacua.
The coalition called on all companies submitting a bid on the project, including the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation and Hyundai Rotem, both of which have demonstrated interest in the bid, to commit to creating good long-term jobs for U.S. workers. The group also called on the companies to commit to creating economic opportunities for workers historically excluded from manufacturing, including women, people of color and formerly incarcerated individuals.
LA Metro is one of the first transit agencies whose Request for Proposals included innovative language developed by Jobs to Move America, called the U.S. Employment Plan, that incentivizes companies proposing to build taxpayer-funded transit vehicles to create U.S. jobs. The first contract was won by Kinkisharyo International and resulted in the creation of a new manufacturing facility for LA County and 235 jobs for people facing barriers to employment.
“Creating local good-paying jobs in Lancaster has had an important impact on our community. The majority of workers who were hired by the Kinkisharyo agreement reside in Lancaster. They now have good jobs close to home, spend their money locally and reinvest in our community,” said Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris.
To date, some of the largest transit agencies, including the Chicago Transit Agency and Amtrak, have adopted the U.S. Employment Plan and created hundreds of good jobs for U.S. workers.
“I was having trouble finding a job because of past mistakes. The Jobs to Move America coalition gives people like me a second chance. I have now been working at Kinkisharyo for 1 and a half years and have a good job with affordable benefits,” said Vincent Louque, one of hundreds of workers who has benefited from Jobs to Move America’s U.S. Employment Plan