MORE2 and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) met on April 7, 2006 and agreed to cooperate on the I-29/Paseo Bridge Project. This agreement will have a positive impact on the ability of minorities, women and other disadvantaged workers to gain living wage jobs in the road and bridge building industry. At that meeting it was agreed that:
1. The I-29/Paseo Bridge Project will cost approximately $250 million.
2. Up to one half of one percent of the project monies will be used for training of minorities, women and disadvantaged workers, and to create incentives for contractors who work with the program. This could be as high as $1.25 million.
3. Some portion of the work force will be set aside for apprentice jobs tied to the training.
4. MODOT agreed to utilize roundtable meetings with MORE2 to work out all of the details. To this end, MODOT provided to MORE2 on May 17, 2006 a draft of a Memorandum of Cooperation to used start the process. This draft includes a proposed list of corporations, unions, associations, educational institutions, governmental organizations, and other who would participate in the roundtable discussions in June 2006.
One of the biggest reasons for the excitement and the optimism surrounding this program is the fact that MODOT just concluded, in May 2006, a similar agreement with Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) in St. Louis, Missouri. MCU and MORE2 are sister organizations of the Gamaliel Foundation.
The MODOT and MORE2 agreement will help bring down some of the barriers that have kept some minorities, women and other disadvantaged workers from reaching these higher paying jobs!