At the beginning of the CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project, the transit agency set robust hiring and workforce goals to ensure that this transformational project – the largest capital investment project in CTA history – didn’t further contribute to the low numbers of Black individuals seeking and thriving in careers in construction.
CTA has dedicated a team – CTA Diversity Programs – that works with various organizations to provide opportunities to small and diverse businesses. Since the beginning of the RPM project back in 2019, the CTA Diversity Programs team worked with RPM contractor Walsh-Fluor Design-Build Team to develop Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Diverse Business Enterprise (DBE) goals specifically for contractors working on RPM Phase One, as well as robust workforce goals to ensure that Chicago’s communities benefit from this historic investment. To date, DBE goals are being met, exceeding the percentage goal of 20% and $314M awarded in DBE contracts. Furthermore, the 19.6% minority workforce goal has been dramatically exceeded with 52.7% of the hired workforce identifying as a minority and $47.4M paid in wages among those laborers.
- Adrian Mobley, an Englewood native, is the owner of Air & Wellness Safety Training, an MBE-, WBE- and DBE-certified health and safety consulting firm based on Chicago’s South Side. Through RPM’s diversity efforts, Adrian received financial guidance and resources, leading her to bid on and be awarded flagging services on the project. Since her contract began, she has hired more than 25 full-time employees and is growing the business to one day pass down to her daughters, who also work on the RPM project.
- Pierre Starks, a Chicago native, is a Local 1 Union iron worker who went from apprentice to journeyman while working on RPM. Since working on the project, Pierre has been able to save money to buy a home for his family that has a backyard for his two sons.
To learn more about CTA’s diversity efforts, please visit transitchicago.com/diversity-programs.