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A woman wears a hard hat on a construction site.
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Every day, construction workers are helping to transform our region’s future.

Celebrating the people building your new transit lines this Labor Day

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With Labor Day approaching, we're taking a moment to recognize and thank the dedicated and diverse workforce that is building the largest transit system expansion in the nation.

It’s important that the tradespeople on Sound Transit projects reflect the diversity of our region. That’s why our programs and initiatives go beyond requirements to ensure real representation of women and people of color in our workforce.

To date, a total of 23,361 workers have worked over 14.5 million hours on Sound Transit’s 18 active construction projects.

Andrea Ornelas smiles while wearing a white hard hat, red glasses and a yellow jacket.
Andrea Ornelas joined the construction industry because she saw the opportunities it presented. Here she is pictured working as a foreman on the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension.

Between now and 2024, we will nearly triple the reach of the region’s light rail system from 22 to 62 miles, while continuing planning on further voter-approved projects that will expand the system to 116 miles.

Of particular importance, 6,938 workers of color worked more than 4.6 million hours on the active projects, accounting for 31.7% of all hours worked. A total of 1,526 women worked more than 7% of all hours, more than doubling the national average for participation by women.

Two women work on a light rail construction site.
Alisha (Ali) Crespo (right) started her career on the East Link Extension. Crespo and others shared their experiences at a media event today.

The average prevailing wage in King County for crafts used to build the light rail system is $67.41 in wages and benefits - including medical, dental and vision insurance for workers and their families, as well as retirement plans. 

If you are interested in a career in construction, please download the Construction Apprenticeship Guidebook, produced by the City of Seattle in partnership with Sound Transit. 

Getting a fast track on a new career 

Sound Transit is preparing for the future by training the next generation through a range of programs and initiatives.

Pre-apprenticeship programs provide hands-on training that help prepare people for entry and success in the building trades. These programs provide construction training and education, in addition to helping with driver’s licensing, transportation, child care, and budgeting.

Through Sound Transit’s Preferred Entry Program, qualified pre-apprentices can move directly into construction jobs. The program focuses on apprentice opportunities for people of color, women and other underrepresented populations in the construction trades.

At 20 percent, Sound Transit’s apprenticeship goal is the highest in the region. It takes about four years for apprentices to become experienced journey-level workers.

Three construction workers wear masks.
Construction workers persisted throughout the pandemic to deliver critical infrastructure projects to our region.

More stories on pre-apprenticeship programs

Be part of rebuilding our region's economy

Women power progress on Sound Transit job sites

Sound Transit helping power the regional construction workforce

Working to extend light rail north, south, east and west

Three new light rail stations in the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate neighborhoods open on Oct. 2, 2021! 

Workers put more than 5.2 million hours into building this extension.

This year's excitement will be followed in 2022 by opening the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension and in 2023 by the opening of service to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond’s Overlake area.

Extensions to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Kent/Des Moines, Federal Way and downtown Redmond are on track to open in 2024.

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