UCSF to Bring Jobs, Business Opportunities to Southeast Sector

Local vendors attend a workshop designed to help them set up shop at UCSF Mission Bay.

With a campus community center and housing complex set to open this fall and more research buildings on the way, UCSF Mission Bay is becoming a bountiful source of jobs for the community. In addition to laboratory and research positions, UCSF is hiring administrative and fitness staff, facilities managers, finance and billing professionals and project managers and is looking to lure vendors to set up shop at the new campus. To help strengthen neighborhoods, like Bayview Hunters Point and Visitacion Valley, UCSF is actively pursuing job and vendor applicants from the Southeast sector. To this end, a consortium of UCSF groups -- Community Partnerships Program, Campus Life Services and Real Estate Services -- are reaching out to residents and small businesses in the area to recruit employees for the new Bakar Fitness & Recreation Center and to fill vendor space for shops and small restaurants around the Mission Bay campus plaza. In an effort to reach out to the Southeast community, Campus Life Services partnered with UCSF Community and Governmental Relations' Community Partnerships Program to conduct informational workshops for 38 community-based employee training providers whose client base is primarily Southeast sector residents. The Bakar Fitness & Recreation Center, to open in the Mission Bay Campus Community Center this fall, and Campus Life Services' Programs and Services will conduct a job fair. The job fair will run from Thursday through Saturday on June 9, 10 and 11 in Genentech Hall, 600 Sixteenth Street at UCSF Mission Bay. Community Partnerships Program and Campus Life Services conducted a workshop on March 10 to inform employment and training providers about opportunities with the fitness center and in the UCSF Medical Center Call Center. A second workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 11. These workshops provide information about the types of available jobs, the skills, and qualifications required of successful candidates; and best practices in job matching for training providers. Currently, the Community Partnerships Program focuses on building relations between the UCSF community and the southeast community. That focus includes providing employment and training providers, namely Jewish Vocational Services, with technical assistance to help them realize better placement job outcomes for their clients looking for work at UCSF. "In order to make a successful match between a candidate and a job, the candidate's resume has to speak to the particular job that candidate is applying for," says Lisa Gray, community partnerships coordinator for UCSF. "By telling job developers exactly what we're looking for and how to make that happen for their clients, we increase their chances of facilitating a successful placement of their clients into a job at UCSF." Steve Leonoudakis, who will participate in the May workshop, says it's a good time to look for work. "Campus Life Services has to hire at least 50 people in the next few months. Access to community employment groups is an important part of our strategy," he says. Looking for Vendors When it opens, the new student housing facility at UCSF Mission Bay will have 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial space around the ground floor level. Campus Life Services and Real Estate Services are looking for vendors to rent that space and provide much-needed services for student housing residents and the Mission Bay campus community at large. UCSF partnered with the Bay View Merchant's Association and the Bayview Business Resource Center to hold the first-ever pre-bid workshop between UCSF and Southeast sector small business owners in March. The workshop provided would-be vendors with the information about the bid process access to public and private financial institutions for loans to fund build-out of the commercial space. Community Partnerships Program also identified two local business service groups, the San Francisco Small Business Development Center and the Bayview Business Resource Center, to assist owners with preparing their bids for submission to Retail Services. During that workshop which, according to Bob Berryman, who works for Real Estate Services, "was practically standing-room only," businesses learned what they would need to provide along with their applications, namely a description of their business and a business plan so that the campus can evaluate where the business fits into the tenant mix. Campus Life Services and Real Estate Services also provided the businesses with information on what their business plan should contain and directed the businesses to consider how a professional team, including an attorney and accountant, can help them in the lease process. Representatives from the Mayor's Office of Community Development, Union Bank of California and Wells Fargo Bank also participated in this meeting. While introducing lenders to potential borrowers will not guarantee a loan for commercial improvements, the fact that campus officials were able to bring these groups together is good start. "The UCSF Mission Bay campus presents opportunities for small business and biotech. We want to help insure that southeast sector small businesses have access and the opportunity to participate in this large scale development," says Al Lerma, program director for economic development at the Mayor's Office of Community Development. "Part of our community outreach program is to contact area businesses who might be interested in leasing space on campus. Frankly, it's locally owned businesses that bring that distinct flavor to the campus," says Berryman. Almost half of the current vendors on UCSF campuses are small businesses.