New Web site launched in hopes of boosting hiring 

With San Francisco’s unemployment rate now hovering above 10 percent, Mayor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday launched another initiative aimed at helping San Francisco residents find jobs.

The mayor announced a new Web site, HireSF.org, to connect employers with qualified local job seekers. Residents can post résumés on its jobs board while city staff can assist businesses in recruiting, screening and employee referrals.

Employers who agree to offer “on-the-job training” to anyone they hire through HireSF.org can access up to $3,000 in salary reimbursement.

“The more information out for people, the better for job seekers as well as employers,” said Janet Clyde, who sits on the Small Business Commission. “Professionals are still having a difficult time getting hired.”

The new site, which cost $49,900 and is paid for with stimulus money, is Newsom’s latest attempt at bolstering the local economy.
Perhaps the cornerstone of the mayor’s economic stimulus initiatives has been Jobs Now, which uses federal stimulus dollars to cover 100 percent of employee wages for workers who are hired through the program. Macys.com will be the first employer to utilize HireSF.org to publicize its Jobs Now positions.

Although some businesses have criticized Jobs Now, saying The City is not properly screening potential employees, Newsom pointed out that 2,110 San Franciscans have found jobs through the program.

That program is set to expire Sept. 30, and the mayor is making a trip to the nation’s capital next week to lobby Congress to extend federal stimulus funding for this program through March.

“It creates more private-sector jobs and helps small businesses in a dramatic way,” Newsom said at a Wednesday news conference. “This program has provided almost half of the subsidized jobs to the African-American community in San Francisco.”

Scott Hauge, president of Small Business California, said the mayor can provide tax breaks and online tools matching job seekers and employers, but without access to capital, small businesses won’t be able to retain employees or hire new workers.

“We need to have money to do this kind of stuff,” Hauge said. “There is a real crisis in access to capital right now for small business.”

Finding work in The City

45 Macys.com jobs posted Wednesday on HireSF.org

800 business entities that have used Jobs Now

46,900 San Francisco residents looking for work

Jobs Now has a $25 million budget this fiscal year

San Francisco has fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the state

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Erin Sherbert

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