$1.6 billion Oakland hospital project hits milestone with jobs deal

OAKLAND – A project to construct a contemporary UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland has reached a serious milestone through a key employment agreement to prioritize hiring local staff for the $1.6 billion project.

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, a serious East Bay union, and Rudolph and Sletten, a big construction company serving as general contractor on the project, have negotiated a labor agreement for the project. Overaa Construction, the final contractor for plenty of site improvements on campus, has also signed the labor agreement.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, a pediatric acute care hospital located at 747 52nd Street in Oakland. (Google Maps)
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, a pediatric acute care hospital positioned at 747 52nd Street in Oakland. (Google Maps)

The $1.6 billion construction project will create a state-of-the-art hospital and trauma center for youngsters on the medical center campus at 747 52nd Street in Oakland.

“The new hospital project is our promise to the community to care for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status,” said Dr. Nicholas Holmes, president of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, in an interview with this news organization in regards to the hospital project. “It is designed to provide the best possible care for children throughout the region.”

The agreement ensures that priority can be given to recruiting local staff for the project, which is anticipated to last several years and be accomplished in 2030.

“This project is a huge investment in our community that involves union members from the ground up,” said Andreas Cluver, secretary-treasurer of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County. “We are making sure local residents have access to these jobs, whether they are new to construction or have mastered their trades.”

As a part of the extensive renovation, the emergency department is anticipated to double in size, a brand new diagnostic imaging room can be added and room size can be increased as a part of a comprehensive modernization, upgrade and expansion.

“We have outgrown the existing facility,” said Dr. Holmes. “The real impetus for this is to meet the needs of the community.”

The collective bargaining agreements established a 30% goal for hiring local staff for each contract and subcontractors, which UCSF Health described as a commitment to supporting the local economy.

The recent and expanded hospital complex will help make sure that children within the East Bay and other areas will be confident they are going to receive world-class medical and trauma care.

“This will improve patient flow,” Dr. Holmes said. “As a safety net hospital, we want to make sure there are no barriers to a child receiving medical care and that no child is turned away.”

The project may also create dedicated mental health beds to deal with what UCSF health officials say is an urgent and unmet need for youth mental health care and services.

The construction work is anticipated to take five years and would require around 400 staff per 12 months until the project is accomplished in 2030 and the brand new hospital can open.

“Construction and the building trades are the backbone of Oakland,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “This project will create good-paying jobs for unionized construction workers, job training for apprentices, and new career opportunities for veterans.”

In addition, it is probably going that after the hospital opens, additional staff, including nurses, will should be hired to work in the brand new medical center.

“This project not only serves the physical and mental well-being of our community, but also the economic vitality of Oakland itself,” said Dr. Holmes. “We will increase staffing levels as the nurse-to-patient ratio dictates.”

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