As part of the Chicago Transit Authority's plans to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in its operations, the Chicago Transit Board approved the awarding of two contracts totaling $3.4 million to five local contractors on April 12 to assist in the identification, recruitment, and training of a diverse prospective workforce and their placement on CTA and area construction projects.
“Having these workforce partners allows the CTA to maximize the value of investments made in our infrastructure by removing barriers and extending job opportunities to those who are seeking career opportunities in the trades, while also ensuring our contractors meet our industry-leading workforce goals,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “These efforts are the latest in a series of measures we’ve taken in recent years to deliver on our commitment to creating opportunities so the workforce on our contracts reflects the communities that we serve.”
The first contract was awarded to Chicago Women in Trades, Metropolitan Family Services, and Revolution Workshop for recruiting and developing a pre-apprenticeship program. These organizations will be tasked with recruiting and evaluating economically disadvantaged candidates for job opportunities, a release said.
Candidates who have not yet worked in the construction industry will be placed in a pre-apprentice program that will provide technical training and support services necessary for acceptance into a building trades apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The second contract, awarded to Chicago Women in Trades and HIRE360, is for services to help qualified job seekers find work on CTA and other regional construction projects.
Both contracts, which were part of a competitive procurement process, have a base term of three years, with two one-year options to extend and are not to exceed $1.7 million, each.
Candidates who meet one or more of the CTA’s workforce goals will be considered eligible for recruitment and placement opportunities. The agency’s workforce goals include the Careers Opportunity Goal, which targets dislocated and Section 3 workers, the Union Apprentice Goal, which provides opportunities for current union apprentices to gain the hours needed to graduate to journey worker and creates the demand for new apprentices, and the Service Area Economically Disadvantaged Area (EDA) Goal, which creates opportunities for residents of zip codes within the CTA Service Area with a median household income of $45,000 or less.
CTA intends to hold quarterly events to inform job seekers about upcoming opportunities in the building trades on CTA projects, and these new workforce partners will be on-site to provide attendees with information and resources. The events will be free and open to the public.
The CTA has experienced success working with these workforce partners on a variety of projects, including the ongoing Red and Purple Modernization Phase 1 project. Since February of 2020, program partners have placed 46 individuals on various aspects of the RPM project, totaling nearly 42,000 hours and more than $1.8 million in wages, a release said.