Somerville, MA, July 1, 2014 – Somerville residents will soon be working on the Green Line extension, thanks to an innovative program called the Massachusetts Workforce Initiative Now or MassWIN, launched on June 18.
Officials celebrated the kick-off of the new program at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) headquarters in Boston. MassWIN will provide some 150 jobs as well as training to low income and minority workers from Somerville, Cambridge and Medford.
“It’s really a moment of celebration, we have all been working on this, really very hard,” MBTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Beverly Scott told the Somerville Neighborhood News. “On mega-projects like this, we have opportunities to be able to bring tremendous resources together if we all work together, and that’s what the WIN program really is about.”
MassWIN is the result of months of research and discussions between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the MBTA, who worked with representatives from the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC), Bunker Hill Community colleges and officials from the three affected cities.
SCC Vice President Van Hardy said he was pleased city residents will get jobs on the project.
“We don’t know exactly how many jobs, but what it’s going to be are the entry level, particularly the pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs,” he said. “A young person getting involved in a pre-internship program today could actually be a journeyman by the time the Green Line’s finished in 2016.”
On June 24, the SCC and other supporters of the MassWIN celebrated the launch in Union Square with Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone.
Construction has already started at Medford Avenue Bridge, one of the eight bridges that will be altered as part of the Green Line extension work. It is currently being widened to create space for two more tracks. Workers say as construction moves forward, some jobs will go to Somerville residents.