Jobs to Move America
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Chicago, IL On Friday, June 5, the Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition will host an informational webinar with a panel of experts, to help major global railcar manufacturing companies demonstrate their commitment to good jobs, career tracks, training and community investment in their proposals to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), competing for an estimated $2 billion contract to manufacture up to 846 new railcars.

The Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition — a national coalition uniting community, civil rights, faith-based, philanthropic, labor, academic and environmental groups – seeks to support manufacturers’ efforts to recruit and develop a skilled workforce and invest in the Chicago community, as they compete for the CTA contract for the 7000 series railcars. CTA’s Request for Proposals includes an innovative policy called the “U.S. Employment Plan” requiring all bidders to provide the number and type of jobs related to the production of the new rail cars, and to outline to outline commitments to jobs, recruitment and workforce training. The CTA will score the responses and evaluate competing bids on a number of criteria, including U.S. jobs. University of Massachusetts, Amherst economists estimate that the U.S. Employment Plan policy’s use in Chicago could support up to 20,000 good American jobs.  Manufacturers’ must submit proposals to CTA by July 28.

Friday’s webinar, titled “Tracks to Success: Adding Competitive Value through the CTA RFP” will feature top Chicago-area workforce development experts will discuss best practices in workforce development and share success stories that will provide valuable insight into the development and implementation of competitive U.S. Employment Plan proposals. Manufacturers will learn about real-world examples of successful workforce development programs in Chicago and across the country, and model approaches to hiring, training, and development of career pathways.  Frontline experts from non-profit and union programs will share successful models such as advanced manufacturing training, custom apprenticeships, training continuums and training committees, and explain how they help develop manufacturers add value to their businesses, improve product quality and safety, and overcome the skills gap.

Advocates say the expansion and improvement of Chicago’s transit system is a tremendous opportunity to address the city’s unemployment crisis with an influx of good jobs. Illinois’ manufacturing sector has declined by 20 percent over the last decade.

An announcement made in July 2014 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the CTA made American manufacturing jobs a criterion in the competitive bidding process for the railcar contract, for the very first time. The CTA joins other public transit agencies like Amtrak and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, that have previously included U.S. Employment Plan provisions in their purchases of buses and trains.

This is the second time the CTA has solicited bids for the procurement of new 7000-series rail cars.   In May 2014, CTA withdrew an Invitation for Bids (IFB) to manufacture the new rapid transit cars, along with two bids from Bombardier and Sumitomo Corp./Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., in order to attract more competition and lower pricing for the rail cars.

WHAT: Webinar bringing workforce development expertise to Railcar Manufacturers competing for Chicago Transit Authority contract worth $2 Billion

WHO:  Top workforce development experts from the Chicago area, including Jake Williams with Jobs to Move America; Mollie Dowling, Executive Director, OAI, Inc.; Guy Loudon, Executive Director, Jane Addams Resource Corporation; Stuart Bass, Executive Director, Keystone Development Partnership; James Page, Administrator, International Training Institute; Danielle King, CNC Machinist, Nortrak; and Carl Ollerer, Operations Manager, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Streamwood

WHEN: Friday, June 5, 2015, 9am Pacific/10am Mountain/11am Central/noon Eastern

WHERE: Webinar offered free of charge for railcar manufacturing company staff and executives, government officials, and interested experts in the field.

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