The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has issued a news release saying that more than 4,000 construction jobs have been created across 119 miles of the high-speed rail project.
More than 73 percent of the workers dispatched to various construction sites reported living within the Central Valley. The authority and its contractors have worked diligently to continue construction during the coronavirus pandemic and ensure California’s workforce remains employed and contributing to the local economy, the statement says.
CHSRA says in its statement that it “is proud to partner with the local trade unions, the State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board as well as continued work alongside our carpenters, electricians, laborers, ironworkers, operating engineers, and many others who are building California and the nation’s first high-speed rail system.”
“I’ve been in this trade for about 10 years and have had to travel 5-6 hours to get to work,” said carpenter foreman Matt Jimenez. “I feel blessed having a stable job near my home in Visalia, especially with everything going on in our country and seeing friends and family out of work right now. I just feel blessed.”
“We have expanded the work in the Central Valley and tripled the number of workers dispatched to the job sites over the course of the last year,” CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly said in the news release. “This is the strength of our program – stable work, stable paycheck, stable families and a more stable future for California.”
“The 4,000th worker on site building California’s high-speed rail project really is a great milestone for not only the Authority but for the local economies and local workforce. The vast majority of these workers are from counties in the Central Valley. That is thousands of workers and hundreds of apprentices on the 119-mile long construction site that are building a critically needed third mode of mass transit that is clean, fast and will relieve congestion our state’s highways, freeways and airports,” said Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.
“This is not only an infrastructure project that is driving our economy, but it is absolutely necessary to meet the needs of the growing population of California while protecting the environment.”
Since the beginning of the project, the CHSRA and the project’s design-builders have worked to ensure jobs created on the project benefit disadvantaged areas through the execution of a Community Benefits Agreement, the statement says. The agreement includes a Targeted Worker Program that requires 30 percent of all project work hours be performed by individuals who come from disadvantaged communities where household income ranges from $32,000 to $40,000 annually.
Out of the 4,000 workers dispatched to the project, 62 reported living in Merced County, 223 reported living in Madera County, 1,969 living in Fresno County, 121 living in Kings County, 395 living in Tulare County, and 572 living in Kern County as of May 31, 2020.
CHSRA currently has 119 miles under construction within three construction packages. Design-builder contractors Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons, Dragados-Flatiron/Joint Venture, and California Rail Builders have more than 32 active construction sites with more expected to open in the coming months. This work totals more than $4.8 billion in construction commitments.
For more information on careers with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, visit: www.hsr.ca.gov/about/careers/index.html. To sign up for the Construction Pre-Apprentice training program through the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, visit www.valleybuild.net.