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L.A. Metro OKs new policy aimed at creating local jobs

The agency piloted a similar policy for a 2013 rail-car contract with Kinkisharyo.
Photo – L.A. Metro


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) board yesterday approved a new policy to incentivize companies bidding on contracts to create and retain U.S. jobs.

Under the policy, the agency will apply a "U.S. Employment Plan" to all train, bus and equipment purchases above $100 million. The plan was developed by advocacy group Jobs to Move America, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, the Brookings Institution, the University of Southern California and the University of Massachusetts.

The U.S. Employment Plan, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority also adopted for subway car procurement in New York City, is aimed at establishing domestic jobs, hiring disadvantaged workers and developing training programs.

The policy is estimated to support up to 22,000 jobs as L.A. Metro replaces all of its trains and buses, said JMA National Policy Director Erika Thi Patterson in an email.

"I was very happy to see this motion pass unanimously ... as it builds on Metro's work and takes our tax dollars even further by operating a robust transit system while creating middle-class jobs targeted specifically at our communities in greatest need," said L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in a press release.

Metro piloted the U.S. Employment Plan for a 2013 rail-car contract with Kinkisharyo Ltd. The manufacturer committed to creating 250 jobs and has since created 400 jobs in Palmdale, California.