The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) broke ground on its $65-million renovation of its McKinley Avenue facility, according to the company’s press release.
The renovation will include expansive electric vehicle charging capabilities to ease the transition to diesel-free transit vehicles. The project is aimed towards young people at the middle school, high school, trade school and college levels to provide hands-on job training, job shadowing, internships, and externships.
The project provides a more sustainable fleet while offering workforce training for the community.
According to COTA, the company is on pace to meet its commitment to be diesel-free by 2025.
COTA’s goal is to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, which aligns with the city of Columbus Climate Action Plan. COTA reduced greenhouse gases by nine percent between 2012 and 2020.
“This project is about transformation, which is focused on quality of life for all people,” said COTA president and CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “These are ambitious, necessary and achievable goals which will ensure our next generation of workforce has a healthy region to prosper. COTA is committed to showing that sustainable growth can be done, and it must be done to support vibrant, healthy neighborhoods and a vibrant, healthy economy for everyone.”
partnered with Marker Construction to offer job training opportunities to students, women, minorities, unemployed adults, and formerly incarcerated individuals. A total of $250,000 has been set aside for the administration, coordination, and implementation of the workforce training program.
“I view the renovation of this building as a giant classroom to demonstrate to a new generation what the construction industry can offer,” said Alison Marker, president of Marker Construction. “The result will be a reimagining of the construction industry as a viable career path that offers well-paid jobs with excellent benefits and opportunities for career growth.”
The renovation of COTA’s McKinley Avenue facility is projected to be completed in June 2023.
“I am very excited about the innovative partnership between COTA and Marker Construction,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, CEO of the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio. “This project represents a unique opportunity to collaborate with job seekers, employers, and community partners so that all of us can unlock our potential for success.”