San Mateo sees steady progress 

While the Multicultural Institute’s online and personal outreach approach seems to be turning a corner in unincorporated Redwood City, San Mateo’s more traditional day labor center is also finding success.

As is the case farther south, laborers in San Mateo haven’t given up standing oncorners along East Third and East Fourth avenues, but outreach has helped reduce litter and other public annoyances, officials said.

In an effort to increase cooperation and direct more workers to the center, the city hired a full-time outreach specialist for the first time in November, said Robert Muehlbauer, Neighborhood Improvement & Housing manager.

"I don’t think we’ll ever get 100 percent of workers to use the center," Muehlbauer said.

Part of that is due to the constant influx of new workers who don’t know about the center, Muehlbauer said.

Since the center began operation in 2004-05, an average of 143 to 176 workers a day have visited. About 29 to 35 workers a day, or 20 percent, find work, Muehlbauer said.

"I think it’s about seven on a scale of one to 10," Muehlbauer said, referring to the effectiveness of the day labor center.

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