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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday announced the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago Federation of Labor have launched a "Build Chicago" collaboration to procure up to 846 7000-series rail cars as part of the agency's rail fleet modernization plan.CTA's new solicitation of bids will include a "U.S. Employment Plan" that asks bidders to provide the number and type of new jobs they will create to build the new cars. The provision also will ask bidders to outline their job recruitment and workforce training plans, Chicago Federation of Labor officials said in a press release."Our goal is to help create as many U.S. job opportunities as possible, and to encourage local opportunities wherever possible," Emanuel said in a prepared statement. "Additionally, we believe this will increase competition among bidders and result in the best prices and highest quality product for CTA customers, essential in building a world-class transit system."The CTA initially sought bids for the cars in 2013, but received only two submissions. Earlier this year, the agency opted to seek new bids in an effort to encourage a wider range of bids.The CTA will use a "best value request for proposals" instead of an "invitation for bids," allowing the agency to evaluate competing bids on a number of criteria, including the plans for job creation, said officials with the Jobs to Move America coalition, which developed the U.S. Employment Plan model.The CTA joins the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Amtrak in including U.S. Employment provisions in their rail-car and bus purchases.
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