The completion of the $1.4 billion Chase Center this month marks a new era for larger-than-life sports and entertainment in San Francisco – but the state-of-the-art development also represents an unprecedented infusion of private capital into small, local, and minority-owned businesses, and toward innovative workforce development programs that will have a legacy impact in the Bay Area. More than $245 million from the Chase Center project went directly to small business enterprises (SBE) during construction. Nearly 90 SBEs, including 42 local business enterprises and 29 minority business enterprises, contributed to the construction effort; the project also succeeded in 574 San Francisco resident job placements.
Chase Center builders Mortenson Construction and Clark Construction Group worked in close partnership with the Warriors, San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, and Bay Area labor unions, to maximize opportunities for local business owners and residents. As a result, dozens of San Francisco contractors were able to contribute to the mega project, gaining invaluable experience on a large, high-value project, and enhancing their capacity and long-term economic potential.
“Small contractors often don’t have the resources or operational capacity to compete for jobs on a project of this scale,” said Jim McLamb, project director in charge of Chase Center’s construction and senior vice president for Clark. “Inclusion was a top priority for our team, and we worked with the Warriors, the City, and union leaders to determine creative ways to carve out opportunities that would open the doors for more San Francisco businesses to contribute to the project.” In some instances, Mortenson | Clark divided a scope of work into four or five smaller packages to enable a broader range of qualified firms to participate.
In addition to breaking up contracts into smaller parcels, the project team also implemented strategies to expand small- and minority- business contributions through mentor-protégé relationships. Small contractors were paired with larger firms on the job to give them a meaningful opportunity to contribute, and to benefit from the guidance of experienced leaders in their field.
“We appreciate Mortenson | Clark mentoring us and matching us up with Rosendin Electric to work on this significant project,” said James Richards, owner of Southeast Electric and leader of Bayview community organization Aboriginal Blackman United (ABU). “We look forward to growing our company and expanding our relationship with Rosendin and other large contractors so we can continue to help put our community to work.”
In addition to creating transformative opportunities for small businesses, Chase Center served as a gateway to new construction careers for 77 San Francisco residents, all graduates of the Chase Center Training program. Mortenson | Clark collaborated with the Warriors, JPMorgan Chase, and San Francisco CityBuild to launch the specialized modular workforce training initiative – the first public-private partnership for San Francisco’s construction sector workforce training agency. The team placed 48 graduates in jobs at the Chase Center jobsite and leveraged other pre-apprenticeship training programs to ultimately secure project sponsorships for a total of 108 San Francisco residents – five times more than any other project in the city of San Francisco.
“Projects of this magnitude come along once in a lifetime, and we seized this opportunity to bring local partners to the table and invest in their potential,” said Peter Bryan, Warriors vice president of design and construction. “It was an intentional decision made by Mortenson | Clark and the Warriors to ensure that Chase Center’s legacy would be one of long-term economic opportunity for local businesses and San Francisco residents. Our goal was to set them up for success on this project, and, I’m proud to say, I think we accomplished that.”
“The economic impact of this project on small, minority-, and women-owned businesses, craft, and trade workers will be felt in San Francisco for many years,” said Nadia Sesay, Director of the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure. “This public-private partnership has resulted in a return on investment that not only benefits local businesses and residents in direct income, but also provides them invaluable experience, enhancing their portfolios. Chase Center has measurably increased the capacity of small businesses and elevated the skills of our construction workforce, allowing many of them to take on significant work in the future to the benefit of our local economy.”