Excerpted from Press Release from the Office of the Mayor, “Mayor Lee, Leader Pelosi & United Way of The Bay Area Announce San Francisco Summer Jobs + Initiative to Create 5,000 Summer Jobs for San Francisco Youth

Mayor Edwin M. Lee, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and United Way of the Bay Area today announced the launch of San Francisco Summer Jobs+, the local response to President Barack Obama’s national call to action to create 5,000 jobs and paid internships for City youth, with a focus on low-income and disconnected young people.

San Francisco has a strong history of youth employment, and the City and County of San Francisco has committed to create at least 2,500 jobs and internships within existing Department budgets this Summer through programs funded by the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families and through programs like Project Pull, [the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program and SF YouthWorks].

Other local companies will support the effort with funding to underwrite internships. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has already agreed to provide $125,000 to provide summer internships for San Francisco youth. AT&T has committed to $25,000. Bank of America and Wells Fargo have also committed $50,000 each.

Click here to read the full press release.

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The SF Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Sub-Committee also pledged to prioritize youth employment through a resolution which was introduced by the SF Youth Commission and sponsored by Supervisors Olague, Avalos, Campos, Chu, and Kim.

San Francisco’s Summer Jobs+ is an outstanding response to the President’s call to action. Through the leadership of Mayor Lee, Leader Pelosi, the SF Board of Supervisors, and the SF Youth Commission, the City has stepped forward to address this critical need. It is now time for the private sector to answer the call with jobs and funding for subsidized employment.

 

During his fall campaign, Mayor Ed Lee released a 17-point jobs roadmap plan that outlined his vision to create employment opportunities in San Francisco. Since the election, this roadmap has been a focal point of his efforts on behalf of the City. Upon reviewing the plan to understand the possible impact on youth employment opportunities, there appears to be some promising strategies.

General Summary of Mayor Lee’s 17-Point Jobs Roadmap Plan
The roadmap includes a diversity of strategies that can impact longer-term employment prospects for today’s youth. Job-creation efforts include those to attract high-tech, clean tech, new media and biotechnology companies, a commitment to revive local, artisan manufacturing, and a priority on expanding tourism and trade. The plan also outlines various strategies to support the small business community, such as a new Job Squad that will offer advice and cut red tape, new investments in neighborhood commercial corridors, and a new Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. Other efforts target public services and the City’s infrastructure, leading to improved quality of life and increased job opportunities in the City.

Two Youth Related Roadmap Points and Suggested Implementation Strategies  
Two strategies within the 17-point plan appear to have direct implications for youth. The Mayor’s commitment to “Establish a New Economy Apprenticeship Program” promises to create “a bridge between the growing number of new economy companies…and students exiting the City’s high schools and local colleges.” An aggressive implementation of this strategy, in which the Mayor’s administration encourages employers in growth sectors to provide apprenticeship opportunities to youth, would be an exciting addition to our current youth employment landscape. The creation of a significant private sector apprenticeship program would ensure a steady pipeline of local talent into San Francisco business and provide new training opportunities for youth.

The other youth-focused strategy pledges “Stronger Partnerships with Public Schools,” and includes a list of educational priorities. Public school youth face an extremely difficult job market, and there is a significant need to provide additional opportunities for youth to develop work experience, understand today’s job market, and explore careers. Mayor Lee’s partnership with public schools might focus on expanding and deepening career pathways for high school youth, building on the existing Career Technical Education (CTE) program available at many SFUSD high schools. This strategy might include expansion of the CTE pathways to more school sites, increasing tiered internship opportunities available to City youth, and deepening services for school-aged youth with barriers to employment.

The youth employment community is excited to work with Mayor Lee to create more opportunities for San Francisco’s future workforce. Collectively, we urge Mayor Lee’s administration to leverage the strength of the existing youth employment and education infrastructure to develop and implement these as well as future youth focused strategies.

 

Earlier this month, President Obama announced the Summer Jobs+ initiative, which calls on businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government to work together to provide summer employment for low-income and disconnected youth. The goal is to provide at least 250,000 young people with jobs this coming summer. Over the past couple of decades, numerous attempts to establish a fruitful public – private partnership for youth jobs have been made in San Francisco, but none have proven to be sustainable. However, despite the lack of long-term success, there have been several successful strategies developed that if adequately supported, could help the City address the President’s call to action and potentially become a model for the nation.

In 2000, former Mayor Willie Brown launched a campaign to respond to the elimination of the federal Summer Youth Employment Training Program (SYETP), which provided thousands of summer jobs for youth in San Francisco. Mayor Brown’s ambitious Say Youth Employment for the Summer (Say YES) campaign raised over $1 million from primarily local corporations to fund subsidized summer jobs. During the summer of 2000, over 1,100 youth were provided with summer jobs through funds raised by the Say YES campaign.

Four years later, former Mayor Gavin Newsom launched the Mayor’s Vocational Program (MVP), which once again called on the private sector to support youth employment by providing funding and jobs to young San Franciscans. Making personal phone calls to business leaders, in less than two months Mayor Newsom’s administration secured funding for over 120 youth jobs. However, despite the initial success and promise of these efforts, neither maintained the wide spread support necessary to be sustainable.

Nationally, model youth employment initiatives in New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles have demonstrated that robust public – private sector partnerships can be successful in any economy. Last year, New York employed 30,628 young people between the ages of 14 and 24, of which over 4,500 were funded with private dollars. The key to the success of these partnerships has been the consistent, year-round support each initiative receives from their respective city’s political and corporate leadership.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, corporate profits in the United States rose to a record $1.97 trillion in the third quarter of 2011. However, while corporate profits have surged, youth unemployment remains at historic levels and thousands of young San Franciscans remain jobless. While youth jobs within corporations may continue to be scarce, a simple cash investment of $2,500 would create an eight-week summer job opportunity for a San Francisco teen. It is time for San Francisco to join President Obama in calling on the business community to invest some of their growing profits in the youth of our community.

 

Excerpt from a recent post on the White House Blog, “We Can’t Wait to Help Young Americans Find Jobs”:

Your first job brings you more than just a steady paycheck – the experience teaches young people life and work skills that serve them long after the job is done. But as our nation continues to recover the deepest recession since the Great Depression, American youth are struggling to get the work experience they need for jobs of the future.

Today President Obama announced a new initiative, Summer Jobs+, that will make a difference.

“America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It’s important for their future, and for America’s. That’s why today, we’re launching Summer Jobs+, a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for America’s youth,” said President Obama.

Summer Jobs+ is a call to action for businesses, non-profits, and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. The Federal government and private sector came together to commit to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer, at least 100,000 of which will be placements in paid jobs and internships.

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Click here to read the full post on the White House Blog.

Click here to read the full press release from the White House, “We Can’t Wait: The White House Announces Federal and Private Sector Commitments to Provide Employment Opportunities for Nearly 180,000 Youth”.

 

The San Francisco Youth Employment Coalition (YEC) is a membership network of various youth employment organizations in San Francisco. Founded in 1988, YEC is committed to strengthening the field of youth employment and serving as a resource for the San Francisco community. The coalition is a 100% volunteer-led effort, electing executive cabinet members on an annual basis. YEC’s primary goals are to foster the professional development of youth employment practitioners, educate YEC members about local and federal policy around youth employment, and increase the visibility of the YEC among those who serve youth in San Francisco.

Meetings & Members
The YEC is currently comprised of over 35 membership agencies representing youth interests in employment, development, and education throughout San Francisco. Currently, the coalition is led by Ciara Wade (New Door Ventures), Sabrina Mutukisna (SF YouthWorker to Teacher Pathway), Gabe Hanzel-Sello (Enterprise for High School Students), and Phimy Truong (SF Youth Commission). Monthly meetings are held at varying member organizations’ sites, offering attendees the opportunity to learn about the host organization’s program offerings. Meetings are open to the public and anyone interested in YEC or youth workforce development is encouraged to attend.

Advocacy
As a member of the National Youth Employment Coalition, the San Francisco YEC shares resources, legislative updates, and advocates on behalf of its members for support in youth employment funding. In 2011, YEC sat down with Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF), Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), and Supervisor Carmen Chu to urge them to reject any funding cuts to youth employment and training services. YEC also organized a letter campaign, submitting over 200 youth-endorsed letters to Mayor Ed Lee, emphasizing that, “young people are the engine for our future economy.”

Professional Development
The San Francisco YEC promotes opportunities that provide training and professional development to youth workforce service providers as well. Last winter, YEC partnered with MatchBridge to host free training seminars led by Larry Robbin of Robbin & Associates on Best Practices for Marketing to Youth and Job Development in a Recession. Additionally, YEC sponsored a free training by Sangita Kumar of Be The Change Consulting on Facilitation Skills for Diverse Populations. YEC makes it a point at monthly meetings to provide a space for professional development by member organizations. Recent training topics have included best practices for providing employment services to homeless youth, financial aid for high-risk and undocumented populations, as well as working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system. These short trainings, often only 30 minutes long, help YEC members stay up to date on current trends and best practices in this ever-changing field.

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YEC holds monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of each month from 12-1:30pm. The next meeting will be held on November 16th at CHALK, 965 Mission Street.

For more information, visit http://www.sfyec.org or contact Sabrina Mutukisna.

 
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