LOS ANGELES — On May 29, 2015, Los Angeles Metro (LA Metro) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase of up to 282 heavy-rail vehicles—a contract worth an estimated $1 billion. On Monday, January 11 2016, companies interested in competing for this contract must submit their proposals.
LA Metro included a Local Employment Plan (LEP) in its RFP that asks global manufacturing firms interested in building publicly funded railcars to disclose comprehensive plans to create California manufacturing jobs; invest in local facilities; create job entry points for people who have been historically disenfranchised or excluded from the transit manufacturing industry; and will score companies’ employment plans for additional points in the overall evaluation. Some of the largest rail manufacturing companies in the world expressed interest in competing for the contract.
Jobs to Move America (JMA)–a coalition of community, faith, academic, labor and environmental groups—applauds LA Metro for including innovative language that will incentivize American job creation, which is a factor that has historically been an afterthought for transit agencies buying new transit vehicles. This is especially exciting given that a purchase of this magnitude has the potential to support up to 6,300 U.S. manufacturing-related jobs and 4,000 induced jobs. “LA Metro’s procurement is a great example of a transit agency taking an important step toward harnessing the spending power of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to create lasting, quality American manufacturing jobs,” said Rudy Gonzalves, Director of California JMA. He continued, “For too long, American transit agencies have purchased buses and passenger trains for our cities without considering the ability to use these dollars to create quality jobs and generate opportunities for struggling communities.”
However, the push to create good jobs cannot stop here–JMA expects LA Metro to follow through and hold companies bidding for this contract to a high standard when evaluating their jobs plans to ensure the jobs commitments result in long-term, high-quality jobs that are accompanied by training and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as entry points for people facing barriers to employment. The California JMA coalition is watching this process closely and strongly urges LA Metro to reward high-road companies that meet this standard.
JMA wants to see this contract result in a win for rail users, our communities, and taxpayers.