Mayor Ed Lee’s summer job program for youths helped 5K, lagged in private sector

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerJuicy work: Jamba Juice was one of the private-sector employers that hired youths this summer. See who the top 10 job providers were below the article.

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerJuicy work: Jamba Juice was one of the private-sector employers that hired youths this summer. See who the top 10 job providers were below the article.

Although San Francisco’s summer jobs initiative failed to create all 2,500 of the desired private-sector positions, it surpassed Mayor Ed Lee’s overall goal of 5,000 jobs by placing more youths in positions with city government.

Advocates and city officials are hailing Lee’s Summer Jobs+ as a first step in the right direction. City officials and youth advocates are evaluating the program as they prepare for next year’s effort, in which they hope to attract more participation from private employers while smoothing out other issues, such as improving the program’s Web site.

In what has been hailed as the largest coordinated effort to hire San Francisco youths, Summer Jobs+ led to the hiring of 5,268 youths between the ages of 16 and 24 between June and Sept. 30, according to data provided by the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.

Of those jobs, 3,804 were provided by The City in various departments at a cost of $3,155 per job, or an overall cost of about $12 million. While the private sector did not meet Lee’s goal of providing 2,500 jobs, it did provide 1,464 jobs.

Several companies also donated about $250,000 to the program for a pool of money that was used to subsidize a portion of the private-sector jobs.

Eric McDonnell, executive vice president of the United Way of the Bay Area, the nonprofit organization that The City provided with $270,000 to place youth in the private sector, said overall the program was a success. McDonnell estimated about 60 percent to 70 percent of the private-sector jobs went to disadvantaged youths and about 70 percent of the private-sector jobs were those that would not have been created ?without the program.

But youth advocates have raised questions, such as how many of the private companies would have filled these positions anyway, and how many of the jobs actually benefited disadvantaged youths, which was supposed to be the program’s ?mission.

“The only thing that we’re a bit concerned about is a lot of the jobs were going to youth who really didn’t need a job,” said Nicholas Persky, who serves on the 17-member Youth Commission, which advises the mayor and Board of Supervisors on issues that affect youth.

The commission plans to hold a hearing on the program Monday.

The program was launched in response to President Barack Obama’s nationwide call for the hiring of low-income youths. Lee, who has cast himself as the “jobs mayor,” decided to respond by expanding The City’s usual efforts toward ?summer jobs for youths.

“We are going to build on the successes from this past summer and make sure even more of our youth get a job,” said Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for the mayor. “Planning is already under way to increase participation from the private sector.”

Advocates of youth job programs say they are a worthwhile investment for a variety of reasons. Such programs help create a stronger local workforce and allow disadvantaged kids to help out their families and stay out of trouble. Young workers also tend to spend their money locally, helping out the local economy.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Barack ObamaBay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPoliticsUniversity of San Francisco

Just Posted

A large crack winds its way up a sidewalk along China Basin Street in Mission Bay on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s sinking sidewalks: Is climate change to blame?

‘In the last couple months, it’s been a noticeable change’

For years, Facebook employees have identified serious harms and proposed potential fixes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have rejected the remedies, causing whisteblowers to multiple. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times)
Facebook’s problems at the top: Social media giant is not listening to whistleblowers

Whistleblowers multiply, but Zuckerberg and Sandberg don’t heed their warnings

Maria Jimenez swabs her 7-year-old daughter Glendy Perez for a COVID-19 test at Canal Alliance in San Rafael on Sept. 25. (Penni Gladstone/CalMatters)
Rapid COVID-19 tests in short supply in California

‘The U.S. gets a D- when it comes to testing’

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led a late-game comeback against the Packers, but San Francisco lost, 30-28, on a late field goal. (Courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
The Packers beat the Niners in a heartbreaker: Don’t panic

San Francisco is no better and no worse than you thought they were.

A new ruling will thwart the growth of solar installation companies like Luminalt, which was founded in an Outer Sunset garage and is majority woman owned. (Philip Cheung, New York Times)
A threat to California’s solar future and diverse employment pathways

A new ruling creates barriers to entering the clean energy workforce

Most Read