May 012013
GN Speaking


In August 2012, COAL invited Transit Board President Terry Peterson to speak at  the September COAL Breakfast to:


provide information on the CTA Red Line Project (which entails shutting down 
the Redline from 22nd St. to 95th St. in order to completely renovate the rail lines and 
all stations);  its impact on ridership  (for our Community, the Red Line represents
a major means of transit to and from places of employment) and steps to minimize
adverse impact, CTA’s progress towards jobs for minorities, and progress
towards contracting opportunities for minority and small businesses. 

at that Breakfast, COAL asked to have the CTA report back at a future date on their progress in meeting project minority (DBE) goals. 
By October of 2012, Chicago businessman and civic leader Ed Gardner, spurred on by others from the community, had turned a spotlight on the Chicagoland construction industry, where employment and business opportunities for the African American community have been abysmal for decades. That spotlight still shines brightly.On Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2:30pm, at Quinn Chapel (2401 S. Wabash), the CTA did honor its commitment to reporting back to our Community on its progress towards meeting CTA Red Line Project minority goals.Below is a recap of the meeting as reported in COAL News May Issue 1.0. From that issue:

CTA Logo



April 30, 2013

At the end of March, CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson and CTA President Forrest Claypool provided Ed Gardner and COAL Leadership with an update on progress the CTA is making towards meeting the minority (DBE) goals for the Red Line Projects (Track and Stations). The CTA did an effective job of providing data supporting their commitment to meeting project targets.

COAL, however, felt that the CTA needed to also talk directly to the Community on their progress to date and to be available to respond to questions from the community. The CTA agreed and on April 13, 2013, COAL hosted a community meeting at Quinn Chapel that provided the CTA the forum to speak directly to the community.

The CTA team, headed by Gerald Nichols, including Omar Brown (General Manager Diversity) and Mary Person (Manager, Diversity Compliance), along with their hiring agent for the project,  the Chicago Urban League, represented by Shari Runner, provided both a status of how well they were doing to meet targets and an understanding of the process used to identify black workers for both projects.

Throughout CTA and Urban League presentations and during the formal Q&A session, CTA fielded challenging questions on the numbers, names of black contractors, and problems that the community had heard about, as well as the CTA’s commitment to truly meeting targets and the openness of the Urban League’s process.

CTA committed to providing the list of black contractors that are a part of both projects and COAL committed to issuing the list.

Following is a list of black contractors, as reported by the CTA, that will sub for the Prime Contractor Kiewit Construction on the Dan Ryan South Track Work:

E. King ConstructionTrucking and Hauling of Miscellaneous material and Equipment
Gaffney’s Protective Maintenance, Inc.Furnish and Install DC Cable and Termination. Installation for DC Switches, furnish and Install Rail Chairs
Target Electric, Inc.Furnish and Install signal cable , AC cable and duct
Terrell Materials CorpRemove and Reinstall Drainage and Duct bank
Trim’s Trucking, Inc.Semi Dump Hauling and Trucking
Production DistributionSupply Lighting fixtures cable disconnect switches conduit contact Rail
Folashades Cleaning ServiceCleaning Services
AGB SecuritySecurity Services
GW PeoplesRailroad Track Construction

Following is a list of black contractors, as reported by the CTA, that will sub for the Prime Contractor F. H. Paschen on the Dan Ryan South Station Work:

Dynamic Wrecking & ExcavationExcavation and Demolition
Darryl’s TruckingTrucking
Vision Painting & Decorating Service Inc.Paint and Lead Abatement
Bridgeport SteelSteel Fabrication
Glass Mgmt. dba Architectural GlassAluminum Store Front & Skylight
M Cannon RoofingRoofing
Apex ElevatorElevator Work
Garth ConstructionMasonry, Site Preparation, Traffic Control
Shawn Brown Enterprises Inc.Abatement
Kate’s Detective ServicesSecurity
Target ElectricRetrofit Station Lighting
Livewire Electrical Systems, Inc.Retrofit Station Lighting

Additionally,  Ringold Financial Management  was selected to monitor the projects.

Note: CTA  mentioned that there are a number of community organizations that are being contracted to assist in facilitating communications at the community level on alternate routes to use during the Red Line shutdown.

COAL also asked for the hiring numbers for CTA positions resulting from the Red Line Projects. Per the CTA:

The hiring numbers are as of 4/19/2013 – CTA has hired 625 qualified individuals as new part-time bus operators. Over 400 have already been hired and trained as a direct result of the needs arising from the Red Line South Project. Approximately 95% of the 625 people hired are African-American.


COAL has presented this information and is encouraged that with the focus from our Community, CTA has taken steps to meet their stated targets as they exist today. Further, COAL is committed to making sure that the actual dollars / actual project work follows current plans.

But hear this – COAL recognizes that there is much more work to do. That existing targets, at the City, County, and State are not our, nor the Community’s, goal. We will continue our efforts to drive towards true parity. Black employment / unemployment levels should equal white employment/unemployment levels – the large disparity must  end.

And finally, make no mistake about it, we must and we will build a strong and sustained black business class across the Chicagoland area.

As previously stated, Let’s get to work…

Click here for a copy of COAL News May Issue 1.0    Click here for the CTA Update only.

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