High speed rail project dispatches 5,000 construction workers

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA) says it has achieved a significant milestone in mid-December when it surpassed 5,000 construction workers dispatched since the start of construction of the high-speed rail system in the Central Valley.

Nearly 77 percent of these workers come from eight counties in the Central Valley, with workers from 43 different California counties participating overall, the Dec. 17 CAHSRA statement said.

“Today more than ever, it’s important that we recognize that investing in smart and forward-thinking infrastructure leads to good-paying and permanent jobs that can lift entire regions. We don’t have to choose between combating climate change and creating jobs – we can do both with the right kind of investment in our future,” said authority CEO Brian Kelly. “Construction is booming throughout the Central Valley thanks to the more than 5,000 hardworking women and men building the nation’s first high-speed rail system.”

Since the start of construction the 5,000-plus dispatched workers have been building 119 miles of high-speed rail in the Central Valley, where there are currently 35 active construction sites. In addition, more than 570 certified small businesses throughout the state are contributing to the high-speed rail program.

The authority is also partnering in local job training efforts. In October, the Central Valley Training Center, located in Selma, welcomed its first cohort of 30 students to be part of a 16-week program that will provide pre-apprenticeship classes and hands-on construction industry training for residents looking to work on high-speed rail. Since the opening of the training center, nearly 500 Central Valley residents have applied to take part in the program. The next cohort will begin in February.

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