Essentia announces project labor agreement for $800 million transformation

Essentia's East Superior Street entrance.

Essentia Health on May 13 announced a building trades partnership agreement supporting its $800 million transformation of the downtown Duluth campus.

Essentia has partnered with McGough Construction, a St. Paul firm with offices in Duluth, and the Duluth Building & Construction Trades Council to oversee the process.

The project, slated to begin in November and be completed in the fall of 2022, is expected to provide work for more than 5,600 onsite construction workers and proved 3,600 off-site construction-related jobs.

Duluth Building Construction Trades Council President Craig Olson said the undertaking would tap into about 20 regional labor unions for employees. He noted the trades council was also recruiting and training those interested in the trades to keep up with the demand the project will place on the market.

“This agreement provides a framework for labor and management cooperation and stability and provides a steady, skilled workforce for a project of this magnitude,” Olson said.

McGough’s Executive Vice President Tim McGough said the company will work closely with the trades council “to the greatest extent possible to utilize local talent to provide the skill and expertise necessary for the project.”

Essential Health CEO Dr. David Herman called the project “a major investment in Essentia’s mission, demonstrating our commitment to our patients’ health, our community’s economic vitality and our staff’s work environment.”