Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the United Way of the Bay Area along with City Departments and private sector employers announced the launch of Summer Jobs+ 2014, challenging employers to create 7,000 jobs, internships and paid job training for San Francisco youth (ages 14-24) this summer and throughout the school year. Now in its third year, Mayor Lee’s Summer Jobs+ initiative will connect San Francisco employers with low-income and disconnected San Francisco youth so that they can share in the City’s economic success and get the practical job experience and skills they will need to succeed in today’s economy.
“We are investing in the future success of San Francisco’s youth,” said Mayor Lee. “Last year, we worked together and exceeded our own aggressive goal and placed more than 6,800 young adults in jobs and paid internships. This year, we are setting an even more ambitious goal. We need to continue investing in programs that strengthen our youth workforce, especially for our low-income and disadvantaged youth. Once again, I am again calling upon employers, large and small, across San Francisco to join us in supporting the future of our young people by creating 7,000 meaningful employment opportunities for our youth this summer and beyond.”
In 2012, President Barack Obama issued a challenge to businesses, non-profits, and government: Work together to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth. Last year, 6,817 San Francisco youth were placed in jobs and paid internships and accessed job readiness and training opportunities. Almost 100 private sector employers including companies like Starbucks, Old Navy and Zynga with over 60 nonprofits such as Glide Memorial, the Boys and Girls Club and the Third Street Youth Center and Clinic joined over 55 City agencies to provide San Francisco youth with exciting opportunities that offered valuable work experiences in office work, the arts, computer science, retail, banking, engineering, landscaping and in dozens of other fields.
United Way of the Bay Area is leading San Francisco’s effort in support of Mayor Lee’s Summer Jobs+ Program along with Department of Children Youth and their Families (DCYF), Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).
“We are so fortunate to be in San Francisco – a city where our Mayor cares deeply about our youth, and a city in which our companies and community organizations are committed to our young people’s future success,” said United Way Bay Area Chief Executive Officer Anne Wilson. “United Way is proud to be a leader in bringing all of these partners together under the banner of Summer Jobs+ for the third year.”
The Summer Jobs+ challenge started two years ago. In 2012, San Francisco had a goal to place 5,000 youth in jobs and paid internships; 5,204 youth were placed that summer. In 2013, the goal was to place 6,000 youth; 6,817 were placed last summer alone. This year, the program expansion includes placing individuals in employment and training opportunities beyond the summer so that they continue to have the discipline, training, and work exposure; while experiencing the connection between their education and their future careers.
Nationally, the unemployment rate for youth aged 16-24 is 12.8 percent, more than double the rate for the general population. For youth aged 16-19, the rate is even higher at 17.7 percent, almost three times. Many youth that have participated in past years were from low-income families. Many youth that have been placed has also been disconnected and at-risk youth who overcame significant barriers including those from the foster care system, the justice system, and those who do not have a right to work. The Transitional Aged Youth Initiative (TAYSF) estimates that almost 9,000 young adults are neither working nor enrolled in school. They estimate an additional 5,000 youth ages 14-24 are undocumented with little or no legal options for employment.
This year, JP Morgan Chase is contributing $200,000 to Summer Jobs+, doubling their commitment from last year.
“JP Morgan Chase believes it has a fundamental responsibility to invest in the communities it serves. Providing job training, summer internships and employment opportunities is an important way in which we are helping to build the long-term success of the local economy,” said JP Morgan Chase Market Manager for Consumer and Community Banking Don Bausley. “We are thrilled to work with Mayor Lee, the city of San Francisco and United Way of the Bay Area to help better prepare our youth for the future.”
In addition to JP Morgan Chase’s contribution, the City has raised additional funds through sponsorships from PG&E, a founding partner, with $275,000, Citi Foundation and Cities for Financial Empowerment with over $470,000, Bank of America and Wells Fargo who are contributing $50,000 each to the program, and through other funders. Financial contributions are used to subsidize internships and additional youth summer enrichment programs. Employers that have already committed to hiring youth this summer and throughout the year include: the California Academy of Sciences, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Kaiser Permanente, Advent Software, Enterprise, Target and UCSF.
“The amazing customer connections and genuine relationships that I make each day at Starbucks has inspired me to pursue a future in the Hospitality and Tourism industry,” said Elizabeth Kim, a 2012 Summer Jobs+ participant and third year student at San Francisco State University. “From a Barista to now Shift Supervisor, I am instilled with the training and confidence to lead my current team and any team in the future.”
Employers or youth interested in participating or learning more about San Francisco Summer Jobs+, go to sfsummerjobs.org
or call 3-1-1 or 2-1-1.