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SunRail Jobs Coming 2011

December 9th, 2009 by flanews

SunRail is expected to bring 8,000 construction and maintenance jobs to Florida by 2011. Workers will be needed to build the 61 mile commuter rail track and train depots. As Whitney Ray tells us, the job opportunities could help put the states starving workforce on the right track, but House Democrats worry the jobs may not go to Floridians.

The gravy train is headed to Florida promising jobs and economic recovery. For the states 700 million dollar investment, along with matching contributions from the federal and local governments, 8,000 jobs will be created laying track and building train depots.

These arent just average jobs. These are high paid, high skilled jobs, said Cynthia Lorenzo, the Director of the State Agency for Workforce Innovation.

House Democrats wanted a guarantee those high paying jobs would go to Floridians. They didnt get it.

The devil is in the details as they say. I would feel much more comfortable if we could assure Floridians that they could be getting those jobs, said House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands.

Because some of the money will be coming through a federal grant the construction projects will be open to bids from all comers, but the Department of Transportation is confident Floridians will still receive the bulk of the benefit.

When you look at the companies, they are going to have to give workers in our communities an opportunity to work on these lines and they want to, DOT Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos.

But the economic development wont stop with construction and maintenance jobs. Once the train starts rolling shops and restaurants are expected to pop up along the track, putting Florida investors and business owners in prime position to reap the benefits.

If Florida is awarded the 2.6 billion dollars for a bullet train another 5-thousand construction jobs would be created. Economists say the bullet train and SunRail combined could create as many as 100-thousand direct and indirect jobs over a 30 year period.

Posted in Economy, Legislature, State Budget, State News, Transportation, Unemployment | 2 Comments »

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