The CTA will work with partner organizations to help recruit and train career-seekers from economically disadvantaged areas for work on CTA infrastructure projects
As part of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) vision to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of its operations, the Chicago Transit Board today approved the awarding of two separate contracts totaling $3.4 million to five local contractors to help identify, recruit and train a diverse prospective workforce and assist in 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, which is for recruiting and the creation of a pre-apprenticeship program, was awarded to Chicago Women in Trades, Metropolitan Family Services and Revolution Workshop. Together, these agencies will be tasked with recruiting economically disadvantaged candidates for career opportunities and assessing their qualifications. For those candidates who are not yet in the construction industry, they will be placed in a pre-apprentice program that will provide technical training and support services needed for acceptance into a U.S. Department of Labor-approved building trades apprenticeship program.
The second contract, which was awarded to Chicago Women in Trades and HIRE360, is for services to assist qualified career-seekers with finding employment on CTA projects and other construction projects in the region.
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 CTA’s workforce goals will be eligible for recruitment and placement opportunities. CTA’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 journeyworker 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 thousand or less.
CTA plans on having quarterly events to inform career-seekers about upcoming opportunities within the building trades on CTA projects and these new workforce partners will be on-site to provide information and resources to attendees. These events will be open to the public and free to attend. Information about upcoming events can be found on CTA’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages as well as transitchicago.com/diversity-programs
The CTA has had tremendous success with these workforce partners for the training and placement of candidates on a variety of projects, including the ongoing Red and Purple Modernization Phase 1 project. Since February 2020, program partners have placed 46 unique individuals on various aspects of the RPM project and so far have worked almost 42,000 hours and have earned more than $1.8 million in wages.