SHARE Email Facebook Twitter May 12, 2016 Wolf Administration Announces New Rail Projects That Will Create, Retain 48,000 Jobs Through State Investment Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Infrastructure, Jobs That Pay, Press Release, Transportation Harrisburg, PA – An estimated 9,200 jobs will be created and more than 39,000 will be retained over the next five years due to thirty-one rail projects being made possible by two PennDOT-managed grant programs.“Pennsylvania has the most railroads in the country and these make up a vital component of our economic and transportation activities,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “These investments underscore our role in supporting jobs and economies across the state.”The State Transportation Commission (STC) voted today to approve $36 million for 15 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and 16 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP). RTAP is a capital budget grant program funded with bonds and RFAP is underwritten through the new Multimodal Fund, created by Act 89.Act 89 is a far-reaching transportation program that clears the way for significant investments in all transportation modes.For more information on rail in Pennsylvania visit www.penndot.gov.Follow PennDOT on Twitter at twitter.com/penndotnews, on Instagram at instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot, and “like” the department on Facebook at facebook.com/pennsylvaniadepartmentoftransportation. Following is a by-county list of approved rail freight projects under the programs with the state share:RTAP Projects:Allegheny County:CSX Transportation Inc.– $3 million to construct new main lead track, crossovers, turnouts, and derails to allow intermodal trains to pull off the McKees Rocks mainline to serve the Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminal.Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad — $420,000 to install 2,650 feet of track and one new turnout in the Scully Yard.Union Railroad Company — $3.4 million to repair and rehabilitate the East Pittsburgh Viaduct, including concrete repairs, structure drainage corrections, a 1,600-foot passing siding and adding a new walkway and handrails.Allegheny and Washington Counties:Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. — $1.2 million to install nearly 20 track miles of continuous welded rail on the railway’s Pittsburgh subdivision.Butler County:Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. — $3.6 million to improve the Butler Yard and shop tracks as well as yard tracks the company leases, as well as restoring a crossover connection and repairing eight bridge structures on its northern subdivision.Carbon County:Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad — $5 million to construct a new bridge across the Lehigh River and approximately 1,200 feet of new track related to the construction of the new bridge.Centre, Columbia, Lycoming and Northumberland Counties:SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority — $3.5 million to upgrade five bridges and replace one bridge.Chester County:East Penn Railroad LLC — $665,000 for turnouts, rail, ties, resurfacing and rebuilding a 2,000-foot siding, as well as replacing 3,800 mainline ties, 110 mainline switch timbers, surfacing five mainline turnouts and 18,750 feet of mainline track.Dauphin County:Steelton and Highspire Railroad — $2 million to construct and rehabilitate 13,026 track feet and 22 turnouts serving the Durabond pipe plant, Chemtron weld plant, Arcelor-Mittal’s interchange loading area, and connecting track to Norfolk Southern’s interchange as well as Steelton & Highspire Railroad’s main yard.Fayette County:D&I Silica — $1.3 million to extend the switching lead track and two unloading pit yard tracks, replace track and relocate a turnout to create a yard for operational flexibility.Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company — $2 million to install five yard tracks, and a runaround track to improve Bowest Yard.Lackawanna County:Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority — $630,000 to install 9,000 new ties on the Carbondale mainline track.McKean County:American Refining Group Inc. — $1.6 million to construct 50 feet of track, rehabilitate 1,400 feet of track, one turnout and two crossings, as well as modify six existing loading tracks.Western New York PA Railroad Company LLC — $500,000 to install 7,500 crossties, reconstruct two crossings, and track surfacing.Westmoreland County:Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation – Nearly $1.1 million to replace existing rail and steel components on the Radebaugh Subdivision Rail Relay.RFAP Projects:Allegheny County:Leetsdale Industrial Corporation — $299,862 to construct two new spurs and raise, line and surface track.Beaver County:Middleton Properties West LLC — $633,711 to rehabilitate 4,800 feet of track and construct 2,700 feet of new track.Pennsylvania Southwestern Railroad — $535,610 to rehabilitate five tracks, a pit track and a turnout.Berks, Lancaster and York Counties:East Penn Railroad LLC — $560,000 to rehabilitate the Lancaster Northern and York Line, including tie replacement and resurfacing.Blair County:The Everett Railroad Company — $360,150 to replace 4,000 linear feet of rail, 1,200 ties, one public grade crossing and surface two miles of track.Bradford and Wyoming Counties:Lehigh Railway LLC — $292,713 to install a runaround track at ROCK station and install five rail flange lubricators along Lehigh Railway’s mainline.Centre County:SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority — $298,232 to rehabilitate the Robinson Lane track including replacing one turnout, installing culvert boxes and drainage pipes, surfacing, as well as deck timber and bridge planking deck replacement.Delaware County:Consolidated Rail Corporation — $259,748 to replace three existing railroad diamonds.Lackawanna County:Kane Warehousing Inc. — $227,500 to construct a 1,000-foot track spur and one turnout.Lackawanna and Wayne Counties:The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad Company Inc. — $690,900 to repair the Delaware-Lackawanna railroad bridge over the west branch of the Lehigh River, including wingwall and backwall restoration, bridge seat cleaning, resurfacing and re-establishment of original bridge elevation.Lancaster County:Alumax Mill Products Inc. — $250,000 to construct a 1,500-foot double rail spur including two new turnouts.Mercer County:Wheatland Tube Company — $262,500 to construct two industrial spur tracks, two turnouts and a loading/unloading pad.Montgomery County:Mittal Steel USA Railways Inc. — $312,550 to repair a 310-foot stone masonry retaining wall, improve 1,085 feet of track and install two turnouts.Schuylkill County:Reading Anthracite Company — $700,000 to reconstruct grade crossings and improve drainage.Union County:Lewisburg & Buffalo Creek Railroad Corporation — $217,000 to repair a stone masonry box culvert and install a 60-inch steel pipe south of the existing structure.Westmoreland County:Three Rivers Marine Rail Terminal LP — $133,945 to rehabilitate mainline track including replacing crossties, bolts and bridge timber, surfacing and installing ballast.
Indianapolis, In. — Indiana’s private-sector employment has hit another record high, besting the previous peak set in December.The Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported on March 11 that a record 2,739,300 Hoosiers were working in January—eclipsing by 7,200 the prior high set the month before. The new peak for the state is preliminary and could be revised later.Year-over-year, the number of private-sector jobs in Indiana has grown by 35,200. Dating to July 2009, Indiana has gained 415,100 private jobs since state employment bottomed out during the recession. That translates to private sector job growth of 17.9 percent.Also, Indiana’s labor force participation rate in January stood at 65.1 percent. The rate has now outperformed the national average (63.2 percent) for 56 consecutive months.Indiana’s unemployment rate in January remained at 3.5 percent and lower than the national rate of 4 percent. The state’s December 2018 rate was revised from 3.6 percent to 3.5 percent during the annual benchmarking process. Indiana’s jobless rate has decreased 7.1 percentage points since July 2009—the high point of unemployment in Indiana.Below is a breakdown of where Indiana ranks nationally in certain employment categories: second in Manufacturing jobs added (118,300) since July 2009;seventh in Private Education & Health Services jobs added (3,100) over the month; andseventh in Trade, Transportation and Utilities jobs added (3,300) over the month.The state is set to report February’s unemployment rate on March 22.
– probe reveals “managerial indecency” root of wrongful dismissalsBy Kristen MacklingamTwo former employees of the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) that were dismissed some 20 years ago recently received their benefits after investigations revealed that the duo was wrongfully dismissed.Consultant at the Social Protection Ministry, Francis CarrylThis was revealed on Thursday by the Ministry of Social Protection’s Labour Department and the Public Telecommunications Ministry that collaborated to probe the age-old dismissal.Consultant at the Social Protection Ministry, and advisor to the subject Minister there, Francis Carryl, told reporters that this matter was handled in the “normal course of business” by the Labour Department at his Ministry and that regardless of the date that complaints are filed, they will be investigated.“Because of the historical nature 20 years ago of this case, there are some things that were involved that one would not want to talk about, very serious issues. What we are concerned with is the injustices which were inflicted on these men they were really corrected. No matter how long it takes, as long as the Ministry of Social Protection is concerned, and once we are involved…we will ensure that any and every injustice is overturned because we operate on the philosophy that every act of injustice has a shelf life”.He stated that he was a co-author of the report on this investigation into the dismissal of two senior managers at the NFMU in 1998, Keith Griffith and Robert Ross, whose services were terminated under “questionable circumstances”.Carryl pointed out that the two Ministries investigated the complaints which required the examination of available historical records which were more than a decade old, and interviewed relevant personnel, some of whom were already retired. After an in-depth investigation, no evidence was unearthed to justify or substantiate the actions taken against these employees.He also added that managerial indecency was at root of the dismissal of those two men.“The Ministry of Social Protection, in pursuit of justice, concluded that a grave wrong had been done to the two men and therefore submitted that the dismissal should not be allowed to stand. The recommended course of action is compensation, and that recommendation has been endorsed by the Attorney General’s Chambers. Thus, the Ministry of Social Protection is delighted to announce that the recommendation has been implemented”.According to the Consultant, the matter was independently probed and last month (August), Griffith and Ross each received a settlement which they were satisfied with and legal documents were inked in this regard.Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary at the Public Telecommunications Ministry, Derrick Cummings, stated that the duo has received what they are entitled to despite the matter occurring 20 to 21 years ago.He noted that one of the two men is presently not enjoying “very good health” and that the Ministry wanted to ensure that this matter was completed in a timely manner so that both former NFMU employees could have the justice they deserved.Additionally, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Public Service, Karen Vansluytman-Corbin, who had been the Acting Chief Labour Officer when the probe commenced some three to four years ago, expressed satisfaction that Griffith and Ross received what is rightfully theirs.