Saturday, March 31, 2012
We told you so: Rail jobs won’t necessarily be our jobs
“The jobs won't go to people living here now, it will take [an] influx of out-of-state workers to build Mufi's rail. That's a windfall for developers, who will find an easy market for the houses they will build and sell to the workers.”
by Larry Geller
The pull-quote above is me, so I’m quoting myself. Sorry, I just can’t help it. It’s from a 2008 article Rail a boon to everyone but us (2/18/2008).
It’s already beginning:
Seven workers from Utah-based company Boart Longyear are performing soil sampling work at Kualaka’i Parkway, better known as North-South Road in Kapolei.
Kiewit Corp., which has already secured three rail contracts worth $1.06 billion, hired Boart Longyear as a subcontractor.
Kiewit won contracts for the first two phases of the elevated rail system’s guideway, as well as a shared contract with Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. to build the system’s maintenance yard.
When KITV4 News requested the total number of mainland workers currently on Oahu, as well as how many out-of-state workers are expected during construction of the rail project, Kiewit refused to disclose the information.
[KITV, Out-of-state workers already on the rail job, 3/29/2012]
These days “jobs” has become simply a mantra to draw voters. Like the jobs to be created building a pipeline to bring Canadian shale oil to Texas ports for export, the figures quoted are basically pipe dreams. (sorry)
The imported workers, if they stay a while or permanently, require housing, and they drive cars. Yup, bringing in people for whatever reason drives up the cost of rentals, housing, and adds cars to the roads.
Building a railroad requires specialty jobs that can’t be found here. But as KITV discovered, even soil sampling has been outsourced.
We are a very gullible people, it seems.
- Fact-checking fact check: Rail jobs may not even go to locals (2/18/2011)
- FACT CHECK — Rail Opponents: City Has Yet To Identify 10,000 Promised Jobs (Civil Beat, 8/29/2011)
Jobs are a great by product during the rail construction. Let's remember the primary reason for building rail is for the residents of west Oahu who have accepted the responsibility of population growth in their district so people on the east and windward sides don't have to deal with a similar population explosion. This is why I sneer when I hear people who live on the east and windward side say they will not benefit from rail.