Metro Expo Line Train

Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed an announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Tuesday that the federal transit agency will offer cities and transit agencies more freedom to give hiring preference to local workers on transportation projects.

Garcetti joined Foxx, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Birmingham, Ala., Mayor William Bell during a conference call to announce the one-year pilot program, which removes a restriction on local hiring programs that receive federal funding.

“When we invest in L.A. infrastructure, we want to maximize our investment in L.A. jobs, and this provides us with a new way forward to boost our local economy as we cut traffic and fight smog,” Garcetti said.

Metro and the city of Los Angeles both have local hiring programs, but are not allowed to use them when recruiting workers for projects funded by the federal government’s highway and transportation agencies.

“Local workers often have the greatest stake in local road and transit projects, but federal rules make it hard for communities to ensure that their workers reap some of the benefits and that’s just not right,” Foxx said.

“We want to create ladders of opportunities for them, as well as for low-income workers and veterans, to help put some of the transportation investments we make in the hands of those who would benefit most,” he said.

City News Service

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