NEA Baptist Hospital construction site could bring hundreds of jobs

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - As many as 700 jobs could come to Jonesboro for the construction of the new NEA Baptist Hospital and medical clinic and administration building.

The hospital is 475 Thousand square feet, the clinic building is 213 Thousand square feet and the administration building is 64 Thousand square feet.

Construction is currently underway with an expected completion date of June 1, 2013. What kind of economic impact will all these jobs have on Jonesboro and the surrounding areas? What kinds of jobs will be available, and what skills will be needed?

Senior Superintendent Mike Simzisko says they currently employ around 85 workers, but he expects that number to swell to 700 as the project moves forward.

Simzisko, "85 individuals on site right now. We are working on foundations and the structure for the building and underground plumbing and underground electrical."

Simzisko says projects this large are unusual for hospital construction.  The hospital alone will be two and a half times the size of the current NEA Baptist Hospital.

Besides getting a new medical complex, the area will get a large shot in the arm as far as local spending goes.

Simzisko, "There will be people renting apartments and homes here, workforce spending money in the community."

Besides worker spending, the project will utilize local goods and services such as concrete and office supplies. Simzisko estimates as much as 15 to 20 million will be spent locally.

They are taking applications at the main construction office for a variety of skills.

Simzisko, "Carpentry skills right now, electrical, plumbing. You know we're using various subcontractors they'll probably bring a small core of guys with them and they may hire the rest of the work force here locally. It's important to try and hire as much local help as we can. This hospital is for the community so it's important to try and use as much local help as possible."

Applications in both English and Spanish can be filled out at the main Hoar construction office located at the back of the site. There will be a drug test for applicants. Simzisko says not everybody will be hired at once. "The hiring process throughout the job will pretty much be ongoing from now until completion of various stages of construction."

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