Friday, March 15, 2013

Maryland plans training for rail projects

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Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) seeks to coordinate with the state's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to partner with labor unions, development agencies, contractors, and community groups to find, and train, candidates for two proposed rail projects.

Training would be offered for heavy equipment operators, electricians, cement and brickmasons, carpenters, and ironworkers to be utilized for the $2.5 billion Red Line, an east-west rapid transit route in Baltimore, and the $2.2 billion Purple Line light rail transit circumferential route traversing the northeastern Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. (part of which is shown above).

The two projects are expected to create 7,000 construction jobs. "Building a 21st Century transportation network requires a significant financial investment from the Governor and General Assembly," MTA said in a statement. "We can make that investment even smarter by making sure that Maryland's workforce is ready to build, to operate and to maintain that transportation network as it grows."

Funding for both projects, elusive for many years, now may come in part from a proposal by Gov. Martin O'Malley to add a 2% sales tax to all gasoline purchases.