Port of Miami Tunnel Digging Up Local Jobs - NBC 6 South Florida

Port of Miami Tunnel Digging Up Local Jobs

A job fair for the new Port of Miami tunnel will be held Sept. 30



    Breakfast of Champions

    There are 400 jobs on the horizon for Miami job seekers. The contractors and subcontractors who have contracts to participate in the construction of the billion-dollar tunnel under Government Cut are obligated to hire and train a hefty number of local workers.

    Peter Bockweg, executive director of the City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency, said if his agency put up $50 million in bond money to help finance the Miami Access Tunnel, jobs better go to the locals.

    Bockweg is the newly minted CRA director and not a person shy about making sure a deal is a deal. He says those who are hired will mirror the demographics of the community.

    So far, a dozen local residents have already been hired, with many more to come.

    “These employees will also be fully trained by the project management team, which means once the construction is complete they will be experienced and able to embark on a new stage to their careers,” City commissioner Marc Sarnoff said.

    Workers are rerouting the roadway on Watson Island to accommodate the massive equipment that will be in place next year to bore the tunnel from Watson Island to the Port of Miami.

    Project manager Chris Hodgkins assured city officials that, “we are not just talking about it,” and that officials are aggressive about recruiting locally. No question the tunnel project demands the skills of seasoned professionals that have expertise in tunnel construction.

    None in the small crowd expected that a Miami worker was going to run the massive and sophisticated German-built machine that will bore the huge underground tunnel. But there are plenty of jobs for folks with lesser skills

    What Miamians want is a fair deal for the locals.

    “Once the construction is complete, many more new job opportunities will be created when the new tunnel is combined with the arrival of larger ships made possible by the port dredging project,” Commissioner Richard Dunn said.

    The contractors will stage a job fair in cooperation with the CRA later this month.

    Representatives from the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park will also be on hand focusing on skilled trade construction positions like roofers, drywall, and electric.

    The event is set for Friday, September 3rd 2010 at 11:30 AM on the 9th Street Pedestrian Mall in Overtown at 919 NW 2ND Ave as part of the CRA sponsored Folk Life Friday event, an event designed to promote businesses within the CRA boundaries.