ST. PAUL (June 10, 2014) — A study: “St. Paul Union Depot Job Helped Broad Minnesota Construction-Job Recovery”, details the restoration of the historic St. Paul Union Depot created 660,000 hours of work for about 2,000 workers in at least 13 different crafts at a time when unemployment in the construction industry was extremely high. It also exceeded aggressive hiring targets for racial and gender diversity and created apprenticeship training opportunities for minority workers and women.
Unlike road-building projects where three crafts tend to receive the most work-hours, the St. Paul Union Depot job also created work for electricians, bricklayers, plumbers, ironworkers, painters, roofers, sheet metal workers and insulators.
Crafts of every kind will also benefit from the billions of dollars in private reinvestment stimulated by both the Depot in Lowertown and the Green Line, new light rail service opening June 14 between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis.
Those are the key findings of a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan group based in Washington, DC that promotes smart growth for working families. It is online at www.goodjobsfirst.org.
“Taxpayer investments that stimulate transit and transit-oriented development are excellent job creators that can also redress historical racial disparities,” said Greg LeRoy, lead author of the report. “It’s exciting to see so many skills on display. No wonder the Trades made the Depot a showcase for their apprenticeship programs.”
The Depot’s restoration was funded in part by a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additional federal, state and local funds comprised a $243 million budget, $149 million of which went to construction.