As part of the O'Malley-Brown Administration's ongoing efforts to expand job opportunities to more Marylanders, Governor Martin O'Malley today announced the selection of 16 "Preferred Training Partners" for the Purple Line and the Red Line light rail projects. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's (DLLR) Preferred Training Partner Program is a joint effort to prepare and link "opportunity ready" residents in each project corridor directly to the contractors selected to design, build, operate and maintain the Purple Line and the Red Line.
"Maryland is committed to ensuring local residents have the opportunity to help build the next generation of transit in their own communities," said Governor O'Malley. "This program is the key to giving these residents the skills today that they will need tomorrow to qualify for jobs on the Purple Line and the Red Line projects. The Preferred Training Partners Program is one more example of how we are working together to strengthen our middle class through good-paying, family-supporting jobs across our great state."
"Maryland has the best trained and most capable workforce in the country," said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. "By selecting these Preferred Training Partners, we're giving more Marylanders the opportunity to become a part of that workforce so they can secure a family-supporting, Middle Class job. The Purple and Red Lines, which are going to create more than 6,800 jobs, are the next step in building a modern transportation network that supports our growing economy. Through this program, our workers will build these projects, and have the skills to compete for new jobs in the future."
MTA will be working with these organizations to connect the newly skilled workers with the Purple Line and the Red Line contractors, maximizing the number of local residents benefitting from employment on these two light rail transit projects valued at $4.8 billion combined. The Preferred Training Partner Program will be closely linked to Governor O'Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown's EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland initiative managed by DLLR.
Through this program, local residents will have access to a wide range of training in essential trades from carpentry and electrical work to plumbing and iron work, making them eligible for important apprenticeship programs and certifications. Providing a broad spectrum of training options, the selected partners include numerous organizations and educational centers from the Community College of Baltimore County and the Center for Urban Families to Mid-Atlantic Carpenter's Training Centers and the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 486.
MTA/DLLR selected these organizations for their demonstrated track record of success with education and training programs and/or the ability to reach into economically- and socially- disadvantaged communities. These Preferred Training Partners are geographically and programmatically diverse and aim to serve entry-level, semi-skilled and skilled positions in both corridors. See the attached list of Preferred Training Partners that are located along the Purple Line and the Red Line corridors in the Washington and Baltimore regions and the training programs they offer at this link: http://1.usa.gov/1dYN2e7.
"The Preferred Training Partner Program is essential to ensuring that the Red Line and Purple Line projects will not only create good jobs for Marylanders but lifelong careers," said Congressman Elijah E. Cummings. "The skills residents will learn will enable them to compete for important infrastructure projects for years to come, from transit and highway projects to water and wastewater projects."
As Preferred Training Partners, these agencies and organizations will be given priority for transportation-related workforce development grants, will have access to technical assistance and consulting services, and will be provided with direct access to project contractors once selected.
"With the help of the Preferred Training Partners, MTA will be able to connect local residents with contractors on these rail projects and also will help contractors meet the goal of hiring economically and socially-disadvantaged persons for these projects," said MTA Administrator Robert L. Smith.