Transportation officials in New York and Los Angeles have announced plans to advance a number of projects that will help spur job creation in those cities and beyond.

In Los Angeles County, local transportation officials unveiled a program that will focus on hiring workers from disadvantaged communities for road and transit projects.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has authorized the use of a project labor agreement requiring 40 percent of the hours performed on MTA projects over $10 million be done by those living in economically disadvantaged areas.

"We have demonstrated that job creation – and not the creation of just any jobs, but highly skilled union jobs that lead to a middle class lifestyle for workers – can and should be a standard component in transportation infrastructure projects," Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, an MTA board member, told the news agency.

Meanwhile, transportation officials in New York and New Jersey have finalized plans to expedite the replacement of the Tappen Zee Bridge.

"While the mass transit component of a new Tappan Zee Bridge is important, it obviously cannot eclipse the need to provide stability to our infrastructure, a boost to the economy and much needed jobs," New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins noted.

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