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EC Oakland Anchor Strategy Moves Toward a Sustainable, Local East Bay Food Economy; Applicants Sought for Jobs at New Food Processing Plant

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Emerald Cities Oakland and Health Care without Harm – partners in the Anchors for Resilient Communities (ARC) initiative – are proud to announce that their collaboration is beginning to create a local, sustainable food economy in low-income areas of Oakland and Richmond, California. ARC’s first initiative will not only produce healthy and affordable food for schools, hospitals and outpatient clinics for the region’s most vulnerable populations, but will also deliver good paying jobs, social enterprises and other business opportunities along the entire supply chain of the food sector.

The ultimate aim of the ARC initiative is to increase the East Bay’s economic and climate resilience and build community health and wealth by leveraging the assets and capacities of local anchor institutions (educational and medical institutions) and community-based partners to address the social, economic and environmental determinants of health. Given the rising costs of food and energy in these vulnerable communities, resilience in those areas is key to mitigating and adapting to increasingly frequent heat waves and drought brought about by climate change.

Extensive preparatory work involving significant community engagement has resulted in the anchor strategy now coming to fruition, with Oakland and Richmond residents currently being recruited for 20 new, local, union job opportunities with full benefits. The jobs, including manager, supervisor, cook, cold production, storeroom and porter positions, will be at a new Richmond food processing facility to be run by Food Service Partners (FSP), which serves hospitals, schools, senior facilities, stores and other anchor institutions. 

Up to 200 Local Union Jobs, Employee Ownership

Hiring for the first 20 jobs is to take place in late January and early February. In addition, the new facility will become an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program), whereby the workers become company owners over a designated and structured timeframe. Jobs are open to those with barriers to employment, including formerly incarcerated people. Ultimately, the new facility will employ up to 200, depending on contracts through public-sector anchor institutions such as hospitals, schools, universities and others.

Following a six-month training period, the employees will open the new Richmond facility and become the leadership team for the new/next hiring of 50 to 75 additional employees through the 2017 calendar year.

The training will take place during the NIGHT SHIFT at FSP’s San Francisco facility. A free shuttle will pick them up at key locations in the East Bay and take them to the facility. 

“The ARC team encourages local community members, nonprofits, sector specialists and builders of the next economy to share these employment opportunities with those who will anchor and lead this work with resilience, creativity, cooperation and heart,” noted EC Oakland Director Tara Marchant.

She added, “We encourage community members to consider the following questions and then publicize these terrific living-wage, career-path opportunities:

  • Who do you know that you work with now who could be amazing supervisors?
  • Who do you know who is itching to learn a new pathway to economic vitality?  
  • Who do you know who enjoys being with food, and designing food, and understands the importance of changing our food system such that we grow our food locally, sustainability and organically?
  • Who do you know who believes in equity and a just transition for all, especially for those with barriers to employment, and wants to be a part of this next and alternative economy?”

Those wishing to apply for the new FSP jobs and/or to publicize the job opportunities can find needed documents at the links below. Please note that while the informational flyer, FSP Questionnaire and job descriptions are available in Spanish and Chinese as well as in English, the FSP Application for Employment is available in English only.

Applications and cover letters should be mailed or dropped off to the attention of:

Bouakhay Phongboupha
Richmond Works
330 25th Street
Richmond, CA 94804-1727

Please direct any questions to Bouakhay Phongboupha
510-307-8050
bphongboupha@richmondworks.org

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