Leveraging $3.2 Billion MTA Contract to Create Good Jobs for Our Communities

David R. Jones | 9/8/2016, 11 a.m.
Today companies competing for a $3.2 billion Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) contract to produce more than 1,000 subway cars, with ...
David R. Jones Contributed

Proposals that are vague about commitments on jobs, training, worker rights and equitable hiring or lack well-defined approaches to recruitment of workers, professional development and collaboration with stakeholder groups should be awarded few points if any.

As a member of the MTA Board, I take very seriously my fiduciary and oversight responsibility that public funds for critical capital projects are spent wisely and efficiently. Of course, when Mayor de Blasio recommended me to the MTA Board, and Governor Cuomo nominated me, they certainly knew what they were getting: an unabashed advocate for the working poor.

So it should not surprise anyone that I join with New York JMA in calling on MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast to consider all of the ways New York taxpayers can get value for their investment in this public procurement. Because frankly, to not use contracts of this magnitude to create entry points for impoverished workers facing significant barriers to employment is a missed opportunity to spur economic growth for those who need it the most.

David R. Jones, Esq., is President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), the leading voice on behalf of low-income New Yorkers for 170 years. The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. The Urban Agenda is available on CSS’s website: www.cssny.org.