Children’s Hospital Launches Training Program For Students Interested in Construction Careers


UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in partnership with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has launched an innovative construction pre-apprenticeship pilot program as part of the hospital’s master plan expansion project that is currently expanding and modernizing the hospital’s facilities for children, adolescents and their families.



The five-week pilot program recently kicked off with eight Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) students from Fremont, Castlemont and McClymonds High Schools, several of whom have completed construction-related training programs with OUSD.


The students will experience construction site tours, lectures, guest speakers, tool handling, construction safety seminars and project-based learning. The program is providing access to both male and female students and is representative of the hospital’s diverse patient population.


“We understand the importance of workforce development and see this program as an opportunity to provide a career path pipeline for our community’s youth,” said Dr. Barbara Staggers, executive director of the hospital’s Center for Community Health and Engagement (CCHE).


“As a leader in the community, the hospital believes that the development of our future workforce is foundational to sustained growth in the City of Oakland. The pre-apprenticeship program is just one way in which we are utilizing our resources to ensure this growth,” she said.


The new program has leverages partnerships with Turner Construction, HDR Architects, BART, Cypress Mandela, the Union Trade, Cambria Commercial Kitchens and the City of Oakland Building and Planning Department to offer OUSD sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to work with the hospital and explore careers in construction-related fields.


The program includes a variety of in-depth seminars with groups such as the City of Oakland Business Licensing Department and BART. The students will also have the chance to meet with Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb, as well as the Master Plan project’s architects and project managers.


“OUSD is thrilled to partner in this pilot program, said Bernard McCune, deputy chief, Office of Post Secondary Readiness at OUSD. “This opportunity offers our students hands-on exposure to construction careers and brings us one step closer to our vision of preparing all students for college, career and community success.”


The Master Plan Construction Pre-Apprentice Internship Program is one component of a three-tiered plan to create workforce opportunities for the community the hospital serves, and is coordinated through the hospital’s Center for Community Health and Engagement.


In addition to the pilot program, the hospital will soon engage graduates of established pre-apprenticeship training programs, including Cypress Mandela Training Center, RichmondBUILD and Rising Sun Energy Center, to create a defined recruitment and hiring system for community employment.


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