Metra being pushed to hire minorities for project

CHICAGO (AP) – Congressman Bobby Rush is getting support in his effort to get a commuter rail agency to increase minority participation at a South Side Chicago construction project.

The project calls for the construction of a bridge over a rail yard to eliminate backups for 78 Metra trains, 14 Amtrak trains and 46 freight trains each day. The project is located in a largely black neighborhood with high unemployment.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday all said they supported the Chicago Democrat's push for minority participation, but not his threat to shut the project down.

Rush said the only black participation is a $110,000 security contract.

Metra spokesman Michael Gillis called Rush's concerns "a complex issue with many different perspective" that will be addressed.