As summer rolls around, I am challenging employers throughout San Francisco to participate in the second annual Summer Youth Jobs+ program. Last summer, we rose to President Barack Obama’s challenge to create jobs for our youths, and the results were unprecedented public, private and nonprofit partnerships that successfully placed more than 5,200 young people in jobs and training opportunities, including large numbers from our city’s disadvantaged and low-income communities.
Though unemployment rates are dropping, San Francisco must continue to be a national model for youth programs. This summer, our goal is to provide 6,000 opportunities for young people — a 20 percent increase from last year’s initial goal of 5,000 jobs.
Youths 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’s why I am urging private companies to join me in creating opportunities so that youths gain the experience and skill sets needed to prepare them academically and train them for transition into the workforce. Last year, more than 86 private companies provided entry-level jobs and internships in a variety of fields including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, finance, technology and many others.
The City is the largest employer, so we must lead by example. Through partnerships within city agencies and the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, we are providing thousands of opportunities this summer and focusing on our most vulnerable young people, including those in the foster care and justice systems, and youths in low-income families. They will establish and build their skills and work experience while taking advantage of all the opportunities we have to offer in San Francisco.
I recognize we can’t do this alone. I am urging educational institutions, community-based training programs and private sector businesses to join me in creating jobs this summer. Whether you are a small or large business, you can participate in the Summer Youth Jobs+ program by:
- Making a commitment to hire youths for jobs or internships.
- Volunteering to participate in mock interviews, review résumés and talk to youths who will attend our upcoming May 11 Youth Resource Fair at the Moscone Center.
- Contributing financial support toward youth programming that prepares them for work and life skills.
- Spreading the word to your networks about the Summer Youth Jobs+ program.
The investment we make for our youths today will help build a better future for our city for generations to come. Please join me and our partner United Way of the Bay Area by visiting www.matchbridge.org/
summer-jobs and learning more about how you can get involved.
Ed Lee is the mayor of San Francisco.