High-speed rail project creates 10,000 construction jobs

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California Construction News staff writer

The California High-Speed Rail Authority( CaHSRA) celebrated a historic milestone last week, announcing the creation of more than 10,000 construction jobs since the start of high-speed rail construction. Most of the jobs have employed Central Valley residents and men and women from disadvantaged communities.

“Ten thousand jobs created is one of many milestones to come on this historic project, and the Federal Railroad Administration remains committed to strengthening state partnerships to advance even more progress and deliver the passenger rail benefits people want and deserve,” said administrator Amit Bose. “Today is an opportunity to celebrate jobs and what these jobs are creating. High-speed rail will revolutionize travel in California and contribute to a greener future, resulting in less congestion on our roads and at our airports.”

In partnership with the local and State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, the authority has hired skilled laborers including electricians, cement masons and steel workers to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system.

“The California high-speed rail project is creating more than just jobs – it’s creating good-paying careers in trades that will continue to grow and develop the Central Valley region long after the first high-speed trains go into operation,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. “I have personally met with the women and men building this transformative project, and the tremendous pride they feel is palpable. Today is all about them, and it’s truly worth celebrating.”

On average, more than 1,000 workers are dispatched each day to a high-speed rail construction site. Within the Central Valley, 3,367 jobs have gone to workers from Fresno County, 1,891 from Kern County, 1,007 from Tulare County, 430 from Madera County and 367 from Kings County.

California’s high-speed rail project is currently under design and construction across 171 miles. Design-builder contractors Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons, Dragados-Flatiron/Joint Venture, and California Rail Builders have more than 30 active construction sites across the Central Valley.

“California’s high-speed rail project continues to deliver on its promise to create thousands of high road jobs for a diverse and inclusive group of Californians,” said Andrew Meredith, president of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California. “As the project proceeds, the level of job creation will only magnify.

“The jobs being created offer barrier-free pathways to the middle class in communities where access to these opportunities has been historically limited. I look forward to working with the Authority to continue moving this project towards completion.”

Later this year, the high-speed rail project will mark another major milestone with the completion of the southernmost section of initial construction.

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