(From left) BYD sr. VP Macy Neshati, Jobs To Move America's National Policy Director Erika Thi Patterson, and Luther Medina, president/business manager for SMART Union Local 105.

(From left) BYD sr. VP Macy Neshati, Jobs To Move America's National Policy Director Erika Thi Patterson, and Luther Medina, president/business manager for SMART Union Local 105.

Jobs to Move America (JMA), a coalition of community-based groups, and electric bus manufacturer BYD announced the signing of a landmark community benefits agreement (CBA) that will create pathways into the manufacturing industry for underrepresented and underserved populations in Los Angeles County. 

The CBA between JMA and BYD is a legally enforceable agreement that will support the creation of a robust U.S. jobs program through deep investments in pre-apprenticeship and training programs. BYD has committed to a goal of recruiting and hiring 40% of its workers from populations facing significant barriers to employment, such as veterans and returning citizens. In addition, populations that have historically been excluded from the manufacturing industry, such as women and African-Americans will also be recruited and placed. The agreement also includes commitments from BYD to work with the JMA coalition to provide support systems for these workers to strengthen retention efforts, such as providing transportation for workers who may not have access to a car.

“At BYD, our core values are about cleaning the air and creating great jobs here in California,” said Macy Neshati, sr. VP, BYD Heavy Industries. “This commitment is the result of a collaborative process that brought community and business leaders together, and we’re proud to sign this important commitment to the BYD community. BYD is proud to be investing in good jobs, apprenticeship and training programs for the community, and continued growth. We look forward to working closely with the community to make it happen.”

This agreement is critical to addressing long-standing inequities in the manufacturing industry, given that women and African-Americans are underrepresented in the industry, and that returning citizens frequently face harmful stigmas when trying to find employment.

Most of the jobs will be created in Lancaster, Calif., where one of BYD’s facilities is located.

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