LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Unions will soon begin to recruit thousands of workers to build the massive high-speed Brightline rail spanning from Las Vegas to California, and Nevada crews are set to begin their portion of the project by summer.

Tuesday, the Department of Labor met with trade unions of Nevada and California to discuss a monumental task: how can they hire 11,000 workers to build 218 miles of rail?

Three thousand construction and trade workers will be hired within Southern Nevada, according to Vince Saavedra, executive secretary-treasurer of the Southern Nevada Building Trades Unions. They’ll be responsible for the roughly 50-mile portion of the project from Las Vegas Boulevard at Warm Springs all the way to the California border.

“With big projects finishing like the Sphere, Durango, Fontaineblue, F1 has came and gone– we have a lot of workers that will be unemployed. We’ve been waiting for something big to come and this is it,” Saavedra said. He said recruitment will begin with apprenticeship programs, Workforce Connections and other programs to help prisoners transition into employment. “Every craft has their position. It’s just like football: everybody has their position to play. We all work together to bring home the win,” he said.

In December, the Biden administration approved $3 billion in funding for Brightline. Saavedra and others note that funding put the wheels in motion to start construction.

Work will commence at the future Las Vegas station site and keep extending south to the border; a spokesperson for CA Building Trades said work will start “soon” at multiple sites at once. The work will eventually meet up with Nevada crews.

The goal is for completion by summer 2028, in time for the Olympics in Los Angeles.

Commissioner Michael Naft explains how the project is more a reality than ever; many Southern Nevadan residents expressed doubt that the decades-long project would ever come to fruition.

“Things like the entitlement process and land use issues for both the station and the rail line are taken care of. Rights of way issues have been resolved. There’s so much groundwork that has gone into this project, that now it truly is shovel ready,” Naft said.

People interested in apprenticeship programs or a career in building and trade can learn more here: SNBTU


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