Management & Operations

CTA asks project bidders to provide job creation info

Posted on October 18, 2013

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced Thursday it will ask companies vying for a $2 billion contract to manufacture 854 new rapid transit cars to provide specific information on how many jobs they plan to create in America and how they will generate opportunities for American workers, for the first time.

The addendum to the Invitation for Bids could enhance the impact of the $2 billion project by encouraging manufacturing companies to train and hire disadvantaged workers, including veterans and residents of low-income neighborhoods.

American jobs commitments from Chicago rapid transit manufacturers could result in the creation of as many as 20,000 U.S. manufacturing and related jobs, according to economists from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Due to CTA’s addendum, manufacturing companies will be encouraged to develop comprehensive American jobs plans that include factors like the quality and quantity of jobs created for American workers in addition to factors of cost, and those plans could be incorporated into contracts once the bid is awarded. Manufacturing companies have until Dec. 18, 2013 to submit information about their American jobs plans to CTA.

Illinois’ manufacturing sector has declined by 20% over the last decade. The state’s unemployment rate is 9.2%, the second-highest in the country, and the unemployment rate for Illinois African American workers is nearly double, at 17%. In response, city officials, business leaders, labor unions and community groups are stepping forward with initiatives to support the city’s manufacturing sector, like CTA’s new American jobs addendum.

“With so many Americans struggling to find work, it is critical that public agencies use our taxpayer dollars to invigorate our economy,” said Madeline Janis, National Policy Director of LAANE (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy). “If manufacturers step up, this could be a big opportunity to create jobs for low-income communities and communities of color, while upgrading Chicago’s transit networks with new, efficient, American-made rail cars.”

Every year, transit agencies across the country spend about $5.4 billion on bus and railcar purchases, totaling a $50 billion investment over the past ten years. The national Jobs to Move America coalition is advocating for cities to maximize these investments of taxpayer dollars, by rewarding bus and rail car manufacturing companies for creating American jobs and generating opportunities for unemployed American workers. The Jobs to Move America coalition is comprised of community, labor, philanthropic, academic and environmental organizations, and small businesses.

In 2011, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority implemented Jobs to Move America plan and awarded a $305 million contract to build 550 clean-fuel buses to Canada-based New Flyer Industries. The company will now build a new service and assembly center in the Los Angeles area and add 150 new jobs to their factory in Minnesota, creating a total of 200 good U.S. jobs.

Chicago Transit Authority Invitation for Bids (IFB), Requisition No. C13FI101372531, Addendum 16, Attachment B

Jobs to Move America questions on Page 11-16:

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