We previously posed the question “Will African-American vendors work this latest Metro project” in response to the LACMTA board approving a $1.6 billion dollar contract to extend the Purple Line. There have been reports in the Los Angeles Wave that black contractors are not receiving the opportunity to work on any of the three projects Metro has in motion, although minority mandates are in place in the form of a Project Labor Agreement.
USC affiliated blog, Neon Tommy, gave further insight into the qualifications one must have in order to be considered for the construction positions.
The Project Labor Agreement commits Metro to hiring 40 percent of its construction workers from economically disadvantaged areas and 10 percent from disadvantaged populations—including veterans, ex-cons and emancipated foster care youth. The agreement further commits Metro to making 20 percent of its workers apprentices, having received at least 4,000 hours of training in a particular trade.
Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors (WSCC), have been selected to build both the Crenshaw/LAX rail line and the LAX connector for the people mover. WSCC has partnered with the Los Angeles Urban League to achieve community-based coordination that meets Metro’s project labor agreement goals. Working with the community, WSCC’s outreach will focus on construction mitigation, public information, jobs, diversity, interactions with labor and innovative programs.
The LA Urban League has been awarded the task of providing training of construction workers to complete not only the two rail projects, but also overhaul USC Village, situated directly across from USC on Jefferson Blvd.
By our estimates, in order to work on any construction project and achieve the 4,000 hours of training, that would encompass 25 months, taking into consideration there are 160 work hours in a month.
Related article: Why South LA Didn’t Get ‘Promise Zone’ Dollar$ (This perspective was written by Najee Ali and posted most recently at the excellent South LA blog 2urbangirls.com … featured in CityWatch in Odysseus Bostick’s recent column.)
It begs to question whether LA Urban League is living up to their side of the deal? LA Urban League was one of several local nonprofits credited with why South LA didn’t receive Promise Zone funding. LA Urban League has also lost funding for their Head Start program, as did the Jacksonville Urban League. Is this contract in jeopardy too?