SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Unemployment in the construction field has been running over 30% in Silicon Valley as of late. But, the hard-hit industry could soon be seeing some better times, following the awarding of more than $1 billion in contracts for the BART to San Jose project.

Construction of the 10 mile extension from Fremont to Berryessa is being called an automatic job generator.

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“We’re looking at 5,500 jobs directly related to the construction project,” championed Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority spokeswoman Brandi Childress. “We’re also looking at another 4,000 indirect jobs that support the extra construction activity on this particular contract.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

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The “follow-up phase” of construction holds the promise of additional jobs.

“The 10-mile extension features two stations, one in Milpitas and one at Berryessa. Those two stations and parking structures, campus areas, will generate an additional 3,800 jobs in the future,” said Childress.

Groundbreaking on the project could happen as soon as March 2012.

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