UC Health is partnering with Messer Construction Co. to support its Urban Workforce Development Initiative (UWDI), which helps to address the skills gap, talent shortage and diversity challenges in construction and offer more opportunities for residents in Cincinnati’s urban core starting with Uptown.
UC Health is proud to support this growing initiative, especially through its Clifton Campus Revitalization aimed at creating healing, innovative environments that reflect the world-class care provided within its walls each day. UC Health, Messer and its subcontractors are partnering to hire at least 20 full-time diverse employees into long-term, sustainable, construction careers through UWDI on this project.
“We are investing in not only our facilities, but also our community,” said Bob Feldbauer, vice president of facilities for UC Health. “We’re excited to be a part of the Urban Workforce Development Initiative and having more members of our community play a role in building the future of UC Health.”
“At UC Health, we’re committed to providing an environment of inclusion that supports the diversity of our employees, patients and community. We will continually strive to ensure equitable access and opportunity for all our friends and neighbors – and UWDI does just that,” said Jeanetta Darno, UC Health Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer.
J’Vair Morgan was recently the first UWDI hire for the Clifton Campus Revitalization when he joined O’Rourke Wrecking Company, a subcontractor on UC Health’s Clifton Campus Revitalization project, as a laborer. Previously working in fast food and retail, Morgan instantly learned valuable life skills on the job.
“From a learning aspect, this job has been more serious,” Morgan said. “You have to show up to work on time, and you are working, not just hanging around. Now, I feel like I’m in a different ballpark with people who have other responsibilities, not just coming to work.”
Morgan’s experience with UWDI through O’Rourke has been highly successful; he’s been described as positive, dependable, action-oriented and not afraid to get involved.
“The collaborations between contractors and the community workforce through UWDI are creating positive outcomes,” shared Tim Steigerwald, Messer President & CEO. “We will be hearing more success stories among Uptown residents because of our partnership with UC Health.”
UWDI is also working to change the perception of careers in construction.
“We need to expose students to the construction industry, especially those in underserved neighborhoods. A career in any trade can be extremely lucrative as well as fulfilling. It is critical to the future of our industry to make inclusion of all these potential candidates a priority,” said Michele O’Rourke, O’Rourke Wrecking Co. CEO.