I talk every day about my priority of putting residents back to work and creating jobs for people from every San Francisco neighborhood. And we’re seeing some good results. However, even as unemployment rates fall and jobs are being created, I know we can do better – especially for our young people. Youth in our city suffer from an unemployment rate up to three times higher than the general population and often face barriers to employment and difficulty competing for work.
That is why when President Obama challenged mayors and private companies across the country to join him in a national campaign to create jobs for young people this summer, I said San Francisco must step up and be a national leader. Alongside House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the United Way of the Bay Area, we launched the S.F. Summer Jobs+ Corporate Challenge in April and joined the president’s national call to action to create opportunities and hope for young people.
We have created an unprecedented public, private and nonprofit partnership that will focus on an aggressive goal: 5,000 summer jobs and paid internships for our city’s disconnected and low-income youth.
San Francisco has a strong history of youth employment, and the City is committed to creating 2,500 jobs and internships within existing department budgets this summer. The City and County of San Francisco is the city’s largest employer and we will lead by example.
I also challenged our corporate partners to match and hopefully exceed these 2,500 jobs and internships. This will not only enable San Francisco youth to get the job skills they need, but will also improve corporate engagement for the future. We are joining with MatchBridge and Aftercollege.com to get this done.
But we need your help. Whether a business can commit to one job or a hundred, it all pays off. Mention our challenge to your employer, or if you have a small business along one of our vibrant neighborhood commercial corridors, consider employing a young person this summer. It will make a huge difference in their lives, while businesses benefit by getting the summer help they need by hiring qualified, ready-to-work San Francisco youth.
Many of us know, firsthand, that a quality work experience for a young person can be a bridge to a lifeline – lifting that young person up and setting him or her on the right path, lifting their families, and of course, making our city a better place.
So please join the challenge! Employers that are interested in participating can visit www.HireSFYouth.org to post their summer jobs and internships.