For Immediate Release:  December 8, 2023

Contact: Matt Spence, 202-728-6014


IBEW Welcomes Federal Funding for Brightline West High-Speed Rail Project


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers welcomes the approval of $3 billion in federal funding for the Brightline West high-speed rail project.

In addition to providing a rapid transportation alternative for travel between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, slashing travel time to just a little over two hours, Brightline West will create more than 35,000 construction jobs and over 1,000 permanent positions when completed.

“Brightline West won’t just relieve traffic congestion and offer a zero-emission travel option for California and Nevada residents,” said IBEW International President Kenneth W. Cooper. “It’s also a historic partnership between rail labor and the passenger rail industry that will result in tens of thousands of good, union jobs.”

The grant, awarded through the Department of Transportation and funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, is one of history's biggest funding awards for a privately developed project.

An agreement between Brightline West and the High-Speed Rail Coalition, which represents 160,000 union members in 13 unions, including the IBEW, ensures the employment of union members at every stage of the project, from construction to operation and maintenance.

“This announcement represents an important milestone for high-speed rail in America,” Cooper said. “This massive federal investment shows faith in the professionalism of skilled union labor and elevates community-sustaining union careers, which are the foundation of the middle class and the heart of the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda.”


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 820,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.