The most recent updates to a few high-speed rail lines in progress

Still catching up from the long weekend? We’re right there with ya. While we’re moving slow, let’s talk about something that doesn’t—high-speed light rails. Here are updates on four rail projects currently in process: 

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has awarded nearly $1.5 million in grant funding to organizations in Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin to help recruit, train and retain more women in quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. The grants will help women pursue careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, health care and other industries. Details here. 

Epiroc, a productivity partner for the mining and infrastructure industries, has introduced the Mining and Construction USA blog, a new information hub for the two industries. Visitors will discover content designed to help their operations increase productivity, safety and cost efficiency. They will also read about how to use latest advancements in technology to their full potential. More details here. 

A federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has awarded $1,047,399 in lost wages and punitive damages to two former employees of a Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, manufacturer after a jury found the company and its owner fired them in retaliation for their participation in a federal safety investigation. Details here. 

North America's Building Trades Unions' President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement marking the end of the formal comment period on the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) proposed rule to dramatically alter the nation's apprenticeship system with a new proposal known as Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs):

What to know about current material prices, commercial construction starts & more

Is it just us, or do you feel like there are new industry reports coming out every 3 minutes over the past couple of weeks? Last week, we gave you a rundown on Dodge Data & Analytics’ midyear forecast. Below, we highlight the top takeaways to three other recent industry reports. 

Among professional construction contractors who rented equipment in the past year, a majority expects to increase reliance on rental in the year ahead, according to a comprehensive survey of contractors released by the American Rental Association (ARA). Details here. 

The Nebraska Public Service Commission has approved the Keystone XL Pipeline route through the state—one of three proposed routes included in the application filed by TransCanada. Details about the decision and the pipeline here. 

The SOGR Program provides funding to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly or Amtrak owned or controlled railroad equipment, infrastructure and facilities. The SOGR Program is intended to improve intercity passenger rail performance. Eligible projects include upgrading infrastructure, such as track, switches, bridges and highway-rail grade crossings; stations; and equipment, including passenger cars.