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CTA, labor leaders OK agreement to provide job opportunities to disadvantaged workers

The Chicago Transit Authority's board earlier this week approved an agreement with labor leaders that is designed to expand job opportunities for "economically disadvantaged" Chicago-area workers.

The labor agreement with the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council will require contractors working on most CTA construction projects to provide employment opportunities to disadvantaged workers as established by the Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), CTA officials said in a press release.

The agreement was modeled after CTA's efforts to promote job opportunities related to the WIA on the $425 million Red Line South reconstruction project, which calls for rebuilding 10 miles of the railroad on Chicago's south side. On that project, 15 percent of total man-hours went to WIA-qualified workers, with nearly 120 workers hired for track and station work jobs, officials said.

The new agreement "provides the opportunity to workers who need it most, and it preserves good-paying construction jobs for hard-working men and women throughout the region," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

The agreement also will promote employment for U.S. military veterans, in keeping with a veteran's hiring-preference policy that the CTA enacted in May 2012.

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