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| Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024
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HDC JPA Chair Kathryn Barger reacts as Juan Estrada, District 19 Chairman of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, signs MOU


Leaders from various powerful unions gathered by the clock tower at the Palmdale Transportation Center to celebrate a big milestone for the multimillion High Desert Corridor High Speed Rail Project.

The project is often referred to as a “connector” high-speed rail project by the agency overseeing its creation, the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Agency. Los Angeles County Supervisor  Kathryn Barger, who is also Chair of the HDC JPA, several of her fellow HDC JPA Board members, and various Union Labor representatives ceremoniously signed two landmark agreements for the HDC High Speed Rail Project just before noon. The agreements consist of a Community Workforce Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding that codify the project’s use of highly skilled union labor—an action that will create thousands of essential jobs required to construct, operate, and maintain the HDC High Speed Rail Project.

A short program kicked off the ceremony, with Barger, who is Chair of the HDC JPA, sharing opening remarks. “Today is truly a historic moment for the Antelope Valley region,” stated Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Economic forecasters estimate the HDC High Speed Rail Project will generate $12 billion in economic activity for the Antelope Valley and surrounding region. The unions represented here today are the muscle behind the transformation that will take place. I appreciate their collaboration, support, and unwavering dedication to our project.”

Leadership from the city of Palmdale was also on hand to commemorate the occasion. “The City of Palmdale is excited to be the future high speed rail transportation hub connecting the Brightline West Project traveling to Las Vegas to the California High Speed Rail Project connecting LA to San Francisco,” stated Austin Bishop, Mayor, City of Palmdale.

Over 16 unions were represented and included in the agreements, which took nearly one-year to develop with support from the US High Speed Rail Association. “We were delighted to help facilitate these two landmark labor agreements which will create thousands of good, skilled, union jobs in Southern California,” said Ezra Silk, Political Director, U.S. High Speed Rail Association.

“The Los Angeles/Orange County and Riverside/San Bernardino Construction Trades skilled union labor workforce is proud to work on the HDC High Speed Rail Project in Southern California,” stated Chris Hannan, President, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. “It will undoubtedly transform how people get around.”

“Let’s get to work!” was the enthusiastic call to action stated by Ernesto Medrano, Executive Secretary, LA/OC Building Trades Council.

“The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and our Union partners are proud to operate and maintain the High Desert Corridor High Speed Rail Project after it is constructed,” said Juan Estrada, District 19 Chairman, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. “All aboard!”

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  1. Brian Kerr says:

    boondoggle

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