City officials say they beat their goal of providing summer jobs and paid internships to 5,000 low-income or at-risk youth, rallying private firms and nonprofits to step up when proposed federal funding fell through.
“We filled in — the private sector, the nonprofit sector and The City departments,” Mayor Ed Lee said Tuesday about San Francisco’s Summer Jobs+ Initiative, part of the Obama administration’s national effort on youth employment.
At a City Hall ceremony featuring U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, the mayor said The City actually landed 5,002 jobs for youths age 14 to 24.
Jobs and paid internships, many sponsored by local tech companies, focused on “the disengaged community, the ones that really have had a hard time with turning a corner” on training for future employment, Lee said.
“People want to be paid and earn the respect,” Lee said. “When you earn your success, that’s what sustains it, that’s what sustains a new attitude.”
Labor Secretary Solis said the private sector is “where the wheels turn, and that’s where the jobs are going to be made.”
“We know how important it is right now, especially for our young people, to understand that it isn’t just good enough anymore to have just a high school education or a GED,” Solis said. Industry, she said, “wants to have credentialed people.”
Solis stressed the need for youths to learn math, science, engineering, critical-thinking skills “and the ability to go out and learn on the job.”
The mayor said The City would now expand the program year round, and also hoped to include undocumented youth.