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Big win on career pathways

September 13, 2016

The Valley Transportation Authority Board just took a groundbreaking vote that will open up career opportunities on over $4 billion in construction projects for local community members who are struggling to find good, family-supporting jobs.

This victory has been nearly five years in the making. We're proud to have led this effort via our Construction Careers Initiative, a collaboration with the Santa Clara Building Trades Council, the South Bay Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, the South Bay Labor Council, affiliated construction unions and apprenticeship programs, and community partners. Through this initiative, the South Bay is building a pipeline into high-road construction jobs – one big step towards shrinking inequality and building an inclusive middle class.

VTA joins the County of Santa Clara in adopting a “Community Workforce” policy covering its billions of dollars in construction projects. The policy expands access to career pathways through creating apprenticeship jobs for local low-income residents.

The next step in making that commitment real is to expand the Community Workforce model, so that greater numbers of our local youth, veterans, women, low-wage workers and other under-represented residents have access to construction careers.

The San Jose City Council voted last year to study the idea. Now that the model is being made real, San Jose is poised to become the next agency to put its money where its mouth is by creating apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.