Bridge construction brings jobs to Kentuckiana - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Bridge construction brings jobs to Kentuckiana

Roughly 600 people are now working in downtown Louisville as a result of the Ohio River Bridges project. Roughly 600 people are now working in downtown Louisville as a result of the Ohio River Bridges project.
Marvin Jackson Marvin Jackson

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you build it, they will come. When it comes to the Ohio River Bridges project it's not only bridges, but the workers. Roughly 600 people are now working in downtown Louisville.

As the East End Bridge construction gets up to full speed about an equal number of employees  will go to work there.

Even if bridge work is not your trade we're all reaping the benefits.

"We'd like to see everyone working on the bridge but there are only a limited number of jobs of course," said the project's DBE and EEO Workforce Plan Manager, Marvin Jackson.

With more than 1,000 jobs that weren't in our community one year ago, Jackson knows the bridges are making their presence felt.

"The local restaurants, the housing markets, the hotels, the entertainment," Jackson said. "I know a lot of people have done the bourbon tour -- not while they're at work -- but they have. I mean stuff like this, just entertainment because families have moved down."    

Some people who remember the debate about the downtown and East End Bridge long before any dirt was turned now see the benefits the $2.5 billion construction projects are driving home.

"Then there's the local people who have started working, they have additional disposable income nowadays," Jackson said.

He is responsible for making sure the bridge boom extends to small, minority and women owned businesses. "Once we hit diversity numbers and workforce outreach numbers, just the most qualified," he said.

Thursday, Jackson and others responsible for building the bridges want to meet with people who want to work on the project: like welders, ironworkers and carpenters.

"The project works in phases, so we finish one phase and now the next phase is moving up and we have that backlog of workforce, we can pull from that," Jackson said.

Walsh Construction as well as some of the subcontractors will be at Kye's I in Jeffersonville Thursday morning. The job fair runs from nine until one.

There are both union and non-union jobs available and lists for jobs that will pop up throughout construction.

Members of the unions involved will be there as well to answer questions about how to get started in this type of career.

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