Mayor Lee joined with the United Way of the Bay Area, City Departments and private-sector employers to launch the summer jobs initiative.

SAN FRANCISCO—In a private/public partnership between the City of San Francisco, United Way of the Bay Area and private-sector employees, Mayor Edwin Lee has launched Summer Jobs+ 2014, an initiative that challenges employers to create 7,000 jobs, internships and paid job training for San Francisco youth ages 14-24 this summer and throughout the school year. Currently in its third year, the Summer Jobs+ initiative will connect San Francisco employers with low-income and disconnected local youth in an effort to allow them to share in the city’s economic success and get the practical job experience and skills they will need to succeed in today’s economy.

Last year, 6,817 San Francisco youths were placed in jobs and paid internships and accessed job readiness and training opportunities. Nearly 100 private-sector employers including firms like Starbucks, Old Navy and Zynga with more than 60 non-profits such as Glide Memorial, the Boys and Girls Club and the Third Street Youth Center and Clinic joined more than 55 City agencies to provide San Francisco youth with opportunities that offered valuable work experiences in office work, the arts, computer science, retail, banking, engineering, landscaping and dozens of other fields. The effort was in response to President Obama‘s 2012 issuance of a challenge to businesses, non-profits and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth.

In support of Mayor Lee’s Summer Jobs+ Program, United Way of the Bay Area is leading San Francisco’s effort, along with the Department of Children Youth and their Families, Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the San Francisco Unified School District.

According to United Way Bay Area’s CEO Anne Wilson, “We are so fortunate to be in San Francisco, a city where our mayor cares deeply about our youth, and a city in which our companies and community organizations are committed to our young people’s future success. United Way is proud to be a leader in bringing all of these partners together under the banner of Summer Jobs+ for the third year.”

Many California cities recognize the importance of nurturing the minds and abilities of our culture’s youth. As GlobeSt.com reported in August 2012, culling young talent was labeled as one of the key factors in San Diego’s future growth, according to panelists at an Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana District Council breakfast forum at that time. Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., emphasized that utilizing the talent that local universities produce is an important strategy for supporting San Diego’s economy.