Red Ahead: Red & Purple Modernization

RPM and workforce opportunities

Welcome to RPM, Small Businesses and Job Seekers!

The Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project will create construction and other project-related jobs, as well as opportunities for Chicago small businesses to participate in this historic transit modernization project. This page provides updates on upcoming and past events, and ways to stay in touch with us.

What's new?

Electrical & Track Outreach Event Dec. 12

New event: The Walsh-Fluor Design Build Team cordially invites you to RPM’s  Phase One,  Electrical & Track Outreach Event"  December 12, 2019 (2 p.m.-4 p.m.) at  The Northside American Job Center at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Avenue.

Construction of the Red Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, the largest capital improvement project in CTA’s history is under way and will continue through 2025. In anticipation of upcoming electrical and track opportunities, the Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Teams is hosting a DBE and Workforce outreach event. This event allows interested parties to network and connect with  the subcontractors who will be performing  the electrical and advanced track work and learn about upcoming lower-tier subcontracting and workforce opportunities. We especially encourage ( MBE/WBE/SBE/DBE) to participate,  where our goal is to support firm development while also presenting upcoming opportunities.  

Attendees will also be able to network with union representatives, job assistance agencies and  learn how to become eligible and equipped to work on construction projects throughout Chicago like RPM.

Pre-registration is recommended. Please visit to pre-register today.

Free parking is available in the Truman College parking garage, located just west of the college (accessible from Wilson Avenue). Public transit is an option via the CTA Wilson Station (Red & Purple lines).

CTA Building Small Businesses Program announced

We recently announced our new, innovative CTA Building Small Businesses Program to help small businesses get financially ready to bid on RPM contracts and held our third small business working session on Nov. 21-22  at the Austin African American Business Networking Association (AAABNA) headquarters, 5820 W. Chicago Ave. If you're a small business owner who wants to bid on RPM and other CTA projects, stay tuned: We will schedule more of these sessions soon!


CTA Building Small Businesses Program working session, Nov. 21-22.

How to reach us

For workforce-related inquiries, please email us at

For small business and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) questions, call us at (312) 681-2601 or email us at We're here to help!

For upcoming small business events and opportunities, we will provide an update soon.

For information regarding the RPM Small Business Educational Series earlier this year, please click here. See our press release here.

Recent workforce events

  • Chicago Build: The Leading Construction, Design and Real Estate Show for Chicago and the Midwest, McCormick Place, Sept. 19-20
  • RPM Construction Careers Networking Fair, JLM Center, 2622 W. Jackson, Aug. 28
  • Cook County JTDC Trades Expo and Opportunity Fair, 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., July 11


CTA, Walsh-Fluor hold first RPM Construction Careers Networking Fair 8/28

CTA is committed to providing access to career training and more through the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) project!

CTA and Walsh-Fluor, the RPM contractor, recently held its first RPM Construction Careers Networking Fair with more than 170 attendees, who learned about training and apprenticeship opportunities that could lead to construction jobs on RPM and other projects.

We thank Walsh-Fluor and its contractors, Chicago’s construction trades and our workforce assistance agency partners for joining us and helping us expand opportunity across Chicago. Stay tuned – we’ll have more events like this in the future! Want to learn more? Email us at


RPM project provides workforce opportunities for ex-offenders


In partnership with Cleanslate by Cara, CTA's RPM project will provide training and workforce opportunities to formerly incarcerated individuals to provide refuse removal services throughout the RPM project area. Cleanslate has been provided an opportunity to continue transforming Chicago communities and the lives of residents by providing cleaner, safer streets and transitional employment opportunities to people who face significant barriers to obtaining employment. For more information about training and workforce opportunities, visit

CTA, Walsh-Fluor Meet with USMCA, Chatham Business Assn and HACIA

June 20, 2019 -- CTA and Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team (DBT) took its SBE road show to the US Minority Contractors Association (USMCA) Chicago chapter membership meeting in Crestwood .  Walsh-Fluor DBT shared information with approximately 35 attendees about the RPM Phase One project, including upcoming bidding opportunities for DBE companies. Rev. Larry Bullock, Founder and CEO of USMCA, hosted the event and shared his enthusiasm for the positive impacts and opportunities the RPM project will bring to the DBE community. 

The Chatham Business Association hosted CTA & Walsh-Fluor at its monthly meeting on June 11, 2019. The Walsh-Fluor team introduced themselves and gave a 20 minute presentation on the RPM project to more than 40 attendees, providing information on the project, construction schedules and contact information. After the conclusion of the presentation, we held an informative Q&A  session that was then following by networking time.

On May 8, 2019, the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association, or HACIA, hosted CTA & Walsh-Fluor at its monthly meeting to get any update from Walsh-Fluor on RPM, followed by a Q&A and networking. More than 100 HACIA members attended the event. 


CTA and Walsh-Fluor meet with the USMCA on June 20, 2019.


CTA and Walsh-Fluor talk to members of the Chatham Business Association.


HACIA members learn about RPM opportunities from Walsh-Fluor's David Shier.

Small business opportunity knocks! "Meet the Contractor" small business series kicks off in April 2019

April 23, 2019 -- CTA recently kicked off a roadshow with the RPM contractor, Walsh-Fluor, to meet with small businesses and professional organizations about how to participate in the RPM project. The first "Meet the Contractor" meeting was held on April 23 at CTA headquarters, attended by nearly 60 small businesses.  CTA's schedule of "Meet the Contractor" small business meetings is provided here -- don't miss out!


Small business owners learn about RPM vendor opportunities from Walsh-Fluor's Kweku Thompson.

UIC Engineering Internship Fair held April 5, 2019

April 5, 2019 -- Walsh-Flour is committed to offering three design internships during the design phase and three internships for the constructions phase of the Red and Purple Line Modernization (RPM) project. In an effort to fill these vacant slots, the Chicago Transit Authority's Construction Workforce Initiatives team partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), along with student organizations to host the Engineering Internship Fair for RPM on April 5th, 2019.

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) were instrumental in gathering fellow peers and spreading the word around campus to invite students to attend the internship fair. This event gave UIC engineering students the opportunity to meet two of CTA's project partners, which included Walsh-Fluor and T.Y. Lin to discuss possible RPM internship opportunities for summer 2019.

During this event, we urged students to present their resume to both project partners, allowing room for networking at each of the stations. We welcomed over 150 + students, who demonstrated to us what they had to offer. Students who are ultimately selected will have the opportunity to participate in a paid internship or a cooperative education opportunity with the Walsh-Fluor team and T.Y. Lin. These internship opportunities will provide minority students from economically disadvantaged areas to be a part of the largest construction capital project in CTA history, which will positively impact the city of Chicago.

UIC_photo_(2)_april_2019     UIC_photo_(1)_april_2019

Students talk with CTA and Walsh-Fluor about internship opportunities.

Construction trade union partners training and apprentice opportunities

NOTE:  The section provides information on the application availability, training and skills necessary to succeed in the apprenticeship programs offered by construction trade unions. We will update this page regularly as we bring on new partners and provide updates on where and when to learn more about how to be a part of RPM.

  • Boilermakers Local 1, Construction Boilermaker Apprentice. Applications will be accepted by the Great Lakes Area boilermakers Joint Apprenticeship Committee every third Thursday of the month through November 2019, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Local One, 2941 Archer Ave., Chicago. For more information, visit

Workforce assist agency partners

NOTE:  The section provides information on a variety of workforce assist agency partners that will provide pre-apprentice training to interested applicants with gaining entry into the construction trades, potentially leading to employment on RPM. New information to be posted by year-end.

RPM Phase One: CTA’s workforce goals

We are committed to creating opportunity through training and jobs throughout the RPM Phase One project. To that end, we have set the following participation goals:

  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Goal: 10% of total labor hours. WIOA is a dislocated worker program that offers employment and training services in the construction trades for eligible workers who are currently unemployed. 
  • RPM Apprentice Goal: 15% of total labor hours
  • Economically Disadvantaged Area Goal: 35% of total labor hours. The creation of the economically disadvantaged area goal will create opportunities for individuals in zip codes where the median income is less than $40,000. See if your zip code qualifies.


News: CTA receives industry award for workforce efforts

CISCO0February 8, 2019 -- CTA received the notable "Public Body of the Year" award from Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) in recognition of CTA's commitment and record of recruiting diverse workers and vendors through the RPM and other CTA projects. It was the first time CTA has won the award.

From left to right: Juanpablo Prieto, CTA Senior Manager of Diversity Programs; Doug Kucia, RPM Director of Administration; Dan Allen, CISCO Executive Director; Johnetta Ryan, CISCO Education-to-Careers Director; Chynna Hampton, CTA Project Consultant-Workforce Initiatives -- RPM; Tom McKone, CTA Chief Administrative Officer; Maurice King, Director of Community Relations, IBEW Local 134 and CISCO Board President.

CISCO is a non-profit labor management association that was founded in 1988 to bring union construction labor and management representatives together to work cooperatively and strengthen the construction industry. CISCO represents more than 8,000 union contractors and 140,000 workers in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kendall and McHenry counties. For more information, visit

Stay informed!

For general questions about RPM and to sign up for project e-mails, email us at For workforce-related inquiries, please email us at