The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLRR) signed a partnership agreement yesterday for the two agencies to work together in preparing Marylanders for thousands of skilled construction trade jobs expected to be generated by the Red and Purple Line transit projects and other transportation investments around the state.
The partnership agreement builds from the announcement last week by Gov. Martin O’Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch to pass legislation dedicating more than $3.4 billion to transportation projects over the next five years.
“Building a 21st Century transportation network requires a significant financial investment from the Governor and General Assembly. We can make that investment even smarter by making sure that Maryland’s workforce is ready to build, to operate and to maintain that transportation network as it grows,” said MTA Administrator Ralign T. Wells.
MTA and DLLR have worked together over the past year to identify five trades where the major transportation projects, such as the Red and Purple lines, might see a workforce shortage. Specifically, the agencies have identified heavy equipment operators, electricians, cement/brick masons, carpenters and ironworkers as high-priority trades where the projected number of apprentices and journey-level workers may be in short supply as the workforce continues to age.
The agreement will help to focus DLLR’s job training efforts on these trades through partnerships with labor unions, local workforce development agencies, contractors and community-based organizations.
Together, the Red and Purple lines are expected to yield nearly 7,000 construction jobs. Thousands of other jobs in administrative, professional, technical and manufacturing fields will support the construction. MTA and DLLR will also initiate outreach activities in the Red and Purple Line corridors and across the State to encourage residents to prepare for job opportunities.