CHSRA Celebrates Creation of 13,000 Construction Jobs

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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FRESNO, Calif. – To build the nation’s first high-speed rail system, the California High-Speed Rail Authority recognizes a milestone 13,000 construction jobs created, 10,000 of which were created in the last five years.

California High-Speed Rail Authority celebrates more than 13,000 construction jobs created to build the first high-speed rail system. More than 10,000 of these jobs were from the last five years. More than 70% of the construction jobs are going to Central Valley residents, according to the Authority. Around 1,400 workers are dispatched daily to construction sites.

In a breakdown for the Central Valley:

  • 4,222 jobs in Fresno County
  • 2,538 jobs in Kern County
  • 1,282 jobs in Tulare County
  • 580 jobs in Madera County
  • 462 jobs in Kings County
  • 189 jobs in Merced County

3,387 jobs remain in California Counties with 369 out-of-state. Last year, CHSRA marked 10 years since it had established the “Community Benefits Agreement, which has helped create thousands of good paying union jobs – including more than 10,000 in the past five years – with most of the jobs going directly to individuals from disadvantaged communities.”

Courtesy of CHSRA

This celebration follows the creation of the California Jobs First Council, which is “focused on aligning economic resources to create more jobs, faster for Californians in every community, including the Central San Joaquin Valley.”

Chuck Riojas of the Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare Counties Building and Construction Trades Council said, “High-speed rail construction has continued to flourish, creating good paying construction jobs for men and women across the Valley. As the number of construction sites continues to grow, so does the need of a growing workforce to bring the nation’s first high-speed rail system to California. When construction grows, these workers and their families thrive, and we couldn’t build this system without them.”

Jesse Lopez / Courtesy of CHSRA

Carpenter Journeyman Jesse Lopez said that before he started working high-speed rail, he “worked other jobs maybe 80 miles away from home. This job keeps me close to home. It has helped me save money, buy my first house, and support my family.”

Brian Reed / Courtesy of CHSRA

Grading Foreman Brian Reed said the job is “steady” and “close to home. I’m ready to see some structures finished up. I’m ready to see [trains] going.”

As of reporting, there are more than 25 active construction sites in the Central Valley. CHSRA has started work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail. It has also worked to fully environmentally cleared 422 of the program from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

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