Last fall, Borgess Health announced they’d be building a new ambulatory care facility in Battle Creek to break into a new market. The announcement was greeted with excitement by community members as it represented a $26 million investment in the local area.

Unfortunately, despite the announcement being full of exciting language about investing in and supporting the Battle Creek area, Borgess made some bad decisions.

A $26 million project should have meant a great deal to the Battle Creek area. They could’ve worked with skilled building trades unions like the Michigan Laborers and affiliates of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades, who partner with local contractors across Michigan to provide proper safety training and apprenticeship programs. These unions invest millions in worker safety, in order to ensure workers are well-trained and will stay safe on the job site.

But Borgess chose to hire mostly nonunion, out-of-town contractors for the $26 million project. Those dollars could have stayed in the local community and supported local businesses. Instead, only two of the contractors hired by Borgess were local, and just one uses union labor.

To add insult to possible injury, few of the contractors hired for the project provide health care for their workers. So if any of these unskilled, untrained workers got hurt on the job, they couldn’t even afford the cost of care at Borgess’ shiny new ambulatory care facility.

We think this is just wrong, and insulting to the Battle Creek community members and small business owners who were looking forward to what a $26 million investment could have meant to the area.

If you agree that Borgess should hire trained and skilled union workers who actually live in the Battle Creek community, help us call them out on Twitter using @BorgessHealth and #BorgessHeartless.

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