Full Story (CCX Media)
If you want to work on future light rail construction projects in the Twin Cities, there are some potential opportunities.
An orientation program started Monday in Minneapolis for unemployed or underemployed residents. There were 40 people at the inaugural seminar, which is part of a 10-week program that began at Twin Cites Rise in north Minneapolis.
In four weeks, the orientation moves to North Hennepin Community College, where individuals will learn construction basics, OSHA training and how to read blueprints.
The goal is to prepare them so they can possibly be hired to work on light rail projects and eventually get a career in construction.
"It's a fantastic opportunity," said Gary Courtney who is with the LRT Blue and Green Line project extension. "It's important to the project office and also the community that there is a level of inclusion, meaning that individuals from the community get to build and have the opportunity to participate in this very important rail system. With this program we hope we are delivering that and impacting individuals in the community."
The Bottineau and Southwest Light Rail projects are expected to create more than 14,000 construction jobs.
There will be a need for workers in all phases of the industry as the Blue and Green Line extensions are completed. Those projects, however, still need funding.
Once the funding issue is resolved and construction can proceed, the Bottineau and Southwest projects will need laborers, carpenters, iron workers, masons, and crane and heavy equipment operators.
The apprentice prep training, which is known as LRT Build, is worth up to $4,000 per person. Those attending the sessions will learn many facets about the construction business.
"Introduction to the industry," said North Hennepin instructor Rich Krohn. "We're going to give them OSHA 10, so they're going to get some basic safety training and then we are going to actually expose them to the different crafts so they can make an informed decision as to what part of the building they want to do on this project."