SF Building Trades Council, SFPUC, & More Honor BDFP's Impact on District 10 Community

BDFP’s transformative Neighborhood Hiring Program has enjoyed a slew of well-deserved industry recognitions for their outstanding dedication to empowering District 10 residents.

February 26, 2024


It’s probably safe to say that no Webcor project reflects our Community core value quite like SFPUC’s Biosolids Digester Facilities Project (BDFP), a highly complex infrastructure project involving the relocation and replacement of the city’s aging Southeast Treatment Plant. The plant is San Francisco’s largest wastewater treatment facility, treating 80 percent of the city’s sewage and stormwater flows.

The $1.7 billion project is a joint venture (JV) with MWH Constructors for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood (District 10), one of the city’s most underserved and racially diverse communities. Nearly 40 percent of Bayview-Hunters Point’s residents are considered low-income, and the ZIP code encompassing District 10 was declared a food desert in 2021.

As a San Francisco public project, BDFP is required to comply with the Office of Economic & Workforce Development’s (OEWD) Local Hire policy mandating that local residents within San Francisco ZIP codes perform a certain percentage of project hours within each trade. After reviewing the policy, the MWH/Webcor JV made the decision to maximize BDFP’s impact on the Bayview-Hunters Point community by establishing its own neighborhood hiring goals that would far exceed OEWD’s requirements.

Thus, BDFP’s Neighborhood Hiring Program was born.

“All trade partners work to meet BDFP’s neighborhood hiring goals by ensuring opportunities for journey-people and apprentices in Bayview Hunters-Point,” says Project Outreach Manager Chris Bardales. “The MWH/Webcor JV has paired with several community-based organizations (CBOs) that offer case management services for active workers on-site and a list of candidates ready for placement on the job. We meet with the CBOs monthly to review neighborhood hiring data and discuss potential candidate placement on BDFP.”

Throughout the last half of 2023, BDFP’s transformative Neighborhood Hiring Program enjoyed a slew of well-deserved industry recognitions for their outstanding dedication to empowering and uplifting Bayview-Hunters Point residents:

Referenced in Cornell University’s Paper on Apprenticeship Readiness

Last month, Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations recognized Webcor’s exemplary local hiring efforts at BDFP in a detailed paper titled “Building an Equitable, Diverse, & Unionized Clean Energy Economy: What We Can Learn from Apprenticeship Readiness.” The authors worked closely with CityBuild, a pre-apprenticeship and construction skills training program that’s engaged with Webcor for several years, to report on the workforce development program’s history, mission, partnership with San Francisco’s OEWD, and much more.

About halfway through the paper, the authors highlight Webcor’s exceptional dedication to local hiring on BDFP:

“Employers further test new and expanded hiring policies to shore up demand for CityBuild graduates. One example is Webcor’s ‘hyper-local’ pilot program. Webcor is a major developer and contractor in San Francisco, and the firm is working on a 10-year water infrastructure project for the City’s Public Utilities Commission. The City’s local hiring ordinance covers this project. But Webcor is piloting a program that goes beyond typical requirements: the firm has set aside a certain number of work hours for people who live in zip codes closest to the project. Experiments like this, which are similar to the Obama Foundation project in Chicago, can fortify local hiring policy impact.”

You can download and view the entire paper here.

Presented at U.S. Dept. of Labor Employment & Training Administration’s (ETA) ‘Vision 2030: Investing in America’s Workforce’ Regional Convening

Last summer, the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) invited Success Centers, one of BDFP’s CBOs, to speak at DOL’s ETA Vision 2030: Investing in America’s Workforce Regional Convening. More than 500 workforce stakeholders gathered at the convening to strategize ways to invest in workers throughout the country and help unleash their potential.

Upon receiving the invitation to speak at the convening, Success Centers CEO Liz Jackson-Simpson asked Webcor to join the presentation as the CBO’s corporate partner. Every Webcorian on the neighborhood hiring team (Chris, Director Rowena Domingo, Sr. Field Outreach Manager Tyrone Evans, and Safety Manager Kendall Cantave) traveled to San Diego to represent Webcor at the convening and support the team’s presentation at the “Scaling Pre-Apprenticeship to Support Equity in Infrastructure” breakout session.

Presentation speakers included Chris, who discussed BDFP, San Francisco’s local hire policies, and the strategy behind creating goal-specific KPIs to measure the project’s local hire rate; Liz, who discussed Success Centers’ pre-apprenticeship program; and San Francisco Building Trades Council Secretary/Treasurer Rudy Gonzalez, who spoke about the unions’ role in the neighborhood hiring program.

“It was great to present and discuss the successes of a public/private partnership that creates workforce opportunities for the community,” Chris says. “Several other organizations and companies asked us how we were able to successfully navigate and remove barriers that often plague those workforce pathways.”

Honored at San Francisco Building Trades Council’s Public Service Awards

About a month after the DOL Regional Convening, BDFP’s indelible impact on the Bayview-Hunters Point community was honored at San Francisco Building Trades Council’s 2023 Public Service Awards.

Facing an audience filled with some of San Francisco’s most prominent community leaders and local politicians, former MWH Director Kathryn Mallon accepted the council’s Visionary Award for spearheading BDFP’s Neighborhood Hiring Program. Throughout the night, the entire BDFP team was praised for the program’s role in championing underserved District 10 residents by equipping them with vital trainings, resources, and other tools for success in partnership with their CBOs.

“This type of recognition reflects our team’s tireless commitment to social equity,” Chris says. “It radiates from the top down.

“Rolling out a program of this magnitude while bringing community organizations and advocates to the table has been incredible. Working in Bayview-Hunters Point is a special opportunity to build innovative facilities such as Biosolids while creating opportunities for local residents to be part of a historic San Francisco project!”