Wherever I go in District 5, jobs are one of the top three issues people want to discuss. It is an issue I know well, and I am committed to helping people find new and/or better jobs.
1. Publicize Current Programs
There are actually a number of fine employment programs in the city now, but not enough people know about them. We need a public information campaign about the training and workforce development help that is available, and we need to link D5 residents with the people who are doing the training and the hiring.
The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (MOEWD) runs a variety of training programs that are open to City residents. The services are free and you may even qualify for purchase assistance on any equipment you may need during training. Here is a partial list of job fields that MOEWD programs cover:
- Construction (Citybuild is an 18-week pre-apprenticeship training program)
- Social Services (to prepare CalWorks participants for training and employment in Early Education)
- Office Skills
- Healthcare Academy
Train Green SF:
- Green Construction
- Solar Energy Technology
- Urban Forestry
- Green Transportation
- Green Logistics/Recycling/Reuse
We need to make a concerted effort to let our D5 residents know of these opportunities.
2. Launch New Programs
a) I will spearhead a campaign for quarterly workshops on everything from re-tooling your resume to creating your own job by starting a new business. Private employers as well as every city agency with open positions will be represented.
b) Congresswoman Jackie Spier began a program in her district almost ten years ago, called “Job Hunters Boot Camp,” which is designed to link job-seekers with companies that are hiring. At the last boot camp in 2011, there were 36 employers, some of whom were hiring on the spot. There were workshops tailored to folks who had been unemployed for a long time, those who had never worked or were fresh out of college, as well as people over 50.
We can duplicate Congresswoman Spier’s success. We should host a Job Hunter’s Boot Camp at the Westbay Conference Center here in our district at least four times a year. I will do all I can to promote the event and to get jobs for our citizens.
c) The city should have Skills Training Funds that are funded by their graduates. Job training candidates would not have to pay up front for training, a huge burden for those who are out of work. Rather, the program would collect a small percentage of their income after they graduate and find work. Thus, the success of the graduate is of paramount importance, and the program is sustained by those that benefited from it (like a college alumni fund), the cycle reinforces itself.
3. Tailor to the Community and Diversify
Our job programs should target the actual needs of the local economy. And we need a diversified approach to create jobs in multiple sectors so the community is more resilient to economic swings and can locally fulfill its own needs.
4. Help You Create Your Own Job
I will ensure that the onerous path to opening a small business is made smoother by streamlining the processes of the Planning and Building Departments. This will take a concerted effort by the Board of Supervisors, one I intend to lead. Please read my plan here.
5. Remove Barriers
Many people have what are known as “barriers to employment,” meaning they may have lost their driver’s license, they do not have a high school diploma or GED, cannot travel to work, or perhaps were previously incarcerated. Lack of access to quality day care is another reason some parents who are not working. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights hosts a monthly workshop that is open to anyone at the Westbay Conference Center. They provide legal assistance at no charge to assist with barrier removal and the place is packed every month. We can partner with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to expand their services to meet the demand.