NEWS RELEASE: Putting Jobs First: California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

March 19, 2024

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The nation’s first high-speed rail project has created more than 13,000 labor jobs since construction began in 2015, including more than 10,000 in the last five years.

FRESNO, Calif. –The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) today celebrated the creation of more than 13,000 construction jobs helping build the nation’s first high-speed rail system, with more than 70 percent of those jobs going to residents of California’s Central Valley.

Graphic of California showing the breakdown of the 13,029 jobs created through 2/29/2024: • 4,222 jobs in Fresno County •2,538 in Kern County • 1,282 in Tulare County • 580 in Madera County •462 in Kings County • 189 in Merced County Remaining California Counties: 3,387 Out-of-State: 369

*Numbers reflect jobs created in Central Valley counties where high-speed rail is under design and/or construction

On average, nearly 1,400 individuals are dispatched each day to a high-speed rail construction site.

In the Central Valley*

  • 4,222 jobs in Fresno County
  • 2,538 in Kern County
  • 1,282 in Tulare County
  • 580 in Madera County
  • 462 in Kings County
  • 189 in Merced County

Remaining California Counties: 3,387
Out-of-State: 369

For more than a decade, the Authority has been strong partners with the California State Building Trades. In 2023, the Authority marked 10 years since the establishment of our Community Benefits Agreement, which has helped create thousands of good-paying union jobs – including more than 10,000 in the past five years – with most of the jobs going directly to individuals from disadvantaged communities.

“Before working high-speed rail, I worked other jobs maybe 80 miles away from home. This job keeps me close to home. It has helped me save money, buy my first house, and support my family.”
Jesse Lopez
Carpenter Journeyman

A man in a hard hat, sun glasses, and brightly colored safety gear smiles at the camera

“This is a steady job that’s close to home. I’m ready to see some structures finished up. I’m ready to see [trains] going.”
– Brian Reed
Grading Foreman

A man wearing a hard hat covered in stickers, sunglasses, a beige shirt, and an orange safety vest smiles at the camera.

This announcement comes on the heels of the creation of the California Jobs First Council, focused on aligning economic resources to create more jobs, faster for Californians in every community, including the Central San Joaquin Valley.

“High-speed rail construction has continued to flourish, creating good paying construction jobs for men and women across the Valley. As the number of construction sites continues to grow, so does the need of a growing workforce to bring the nation’s first high-speed rail system to California. When construction grows, these workers and their families thrive, and we couldn’t build this system without them.”
– Chuck Riojas
Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties Building and Construction Trades Council

The Authority has begun work to extend the 119 miles currently under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. There are currently more than 25 active construction sites in the Central Valley, with the Authority having fully environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County. For the latest on high-speed rail construction, visit

The button below links to recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings. Files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

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