OAKLAND, Calif. (November 4, 2019) – After 80 years of doing business from its headquarters in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California has moved to the East Bay. The taxpaying, nonprofit health plan is putting down roots in the city of Oakland, leasing eight floors of a newly constructed building at 601 12th Street, City Center.
To mark the occasion, Blue Shield and hundreds of its employees hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at its new headquarters. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, and many other civic leaders joined the festivities.
“We are excited to be a part of the Oakland community,” said Paul Markovich, President & CEO, Blue Shield of California. “We’re on a mission to create a health care system that is worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable -- and that starts in our communities. We look forward to working with city officials and local organizations to make a positive difference on the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works here in Oakland.
As part of Blue Shield’s commitment to Oakland, Markovich announced a $1 million contribution to “Oakland Promise,” an initiative launched by Mayor Schaaf and the Oakland Unified School District in 2016 with a goal of dramatically increasing the number of Oakland public students who graduate college by 2025. In addition to the financial support, Blue Shield of California employees will also support Oakland Promise through a mentorship program.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said, “Welcome to Oakland! It feels like you have already been here for many, many months after all the events you have already held. I cannot tell you how proud we are to have you as neighbors, as friends, and as a thoughtful employer in our community. On behalf of the hundreds of families who will benefit from your support to Oakland Promise, a heart-felt ‘thank you.’ It means so much.”
“Blue Shield’s partnership to ensure access to health care for our communities is needed here in Oakland,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, in a statement. “Blue Shield will not only be a hub for care, but an economic engine in Oakland as well. I look forward to working with them in the work to ensure quality, affordable health care for all residents of the East Bay.”
Today’s celebration also was the culmination of Blue Shield’s #80ForOakland campaign. In honor of Blue Shield’s 80th anniversary and to celebrate the headquarters relocation to Oakland, the company created the #80ForOakland campaign to encourage its employees to get to know their new home city through a mix of volunteer projects and community-exploration activities.
Blue Shield is happy to report that employees far exceeded the goal of 80 projects, completing 120 engagements in all corners of the city, including the Make Time for Health with the American Heart Association and Oakland Unified School District, collaborating with the Roots Community Clinic on a new blood pressure treatment kiosk, sponsoring and participating in the Oakland Pride Parade, and redeveloping a playground with KaBOOM at Yu Ming Charter School. In total, more than 650 employees volunteered over 3,700 hours at local nonprofits to support the Oakland community during 2019.
About 1,200 Blue Shield employees will be working in the new office and are expected to inject millions of dollars into the local economy, as they shop at neighborhood stores, restaurants and businesses. Blue Shield has already begun reaching out to Oakland’s small businesses about how to become suppliers.
In addition, Blue Shield of California expects to hire nearly 100 employees in Oakland in 2020. Learn more and apply at www.blueshieldca.com/careers
Paul Markovich (left) and Libby Schaaf.
Paul Markovich (left) and Libby Schaaf.
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a health care system worthy of our family and friends that is sustainably affordable. We are a not-for-profit, independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $20 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities.
For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit news.blueshieldca.com.