St. Paul Mass Transit Project Delivers Far More Than Passengers

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Interesting report just issued by Good Jobs First on the impact on employment in construction created by the project in St. Paul, Minnesota in restoring their old rail depot and the creation of a new rail line between St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Three key points

1. This mass transit construction project was able to create work for a wide variety of trades–electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, sheet metal workers, roofers, painters, sheet metal workers, elevator constructors, and insulators. On traditional road construction projects only the 3 traditional road-building crafts, carpenters, laborers and operating engineers, get much work.

2. 70 groups came together in a coalition called Hire Minnesota to pressure the Minnesota Department of transportation to set ambitious goals for worker hiring diversity–and those goals were exceeded. 18.9% of work hours were done by minority workers and 6.9% of work hours were completed by women.

3. Public and private investment in mass transit pays off. Federal, state and local grants helped make the project viable. Local foundations came together to fund organizing around the location of stops on the new rail line. The project’s genesis was the original federal stimulus program.

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