Mayor London Breed Hosts Job Fair for Residents in Visitacion Valley
Visitacion Valley has one of the highest rates of unemployed residents in San Francisco, over 60% higher than the citywide average
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), and Family and Child Empowerment Services San Francisco (FACES SF) will host a job fair and hiring event today in Visitacion Valley to bring employment opportunities and resources to a neighborhood with one of the highest unemployment rates in the City. The Visitacion Valley Job Fair and Hiring Event takes place today from 10:00am until 2:00pm at The Village located at 1099 Sunnydale Avenue.
“Even as San Francisco is experiencing a record low unemployment rate, there are still people looking for jobs and careers, especially in neighborhoods that have been underserved as the rest of our City prospered,” said Mayor Breed. “This job fair in Visitacion Valley is part of our efforts to make San Francisco a more equitable city and to ensure that all residents have access to employment opportunities—regardless of their background or where they live. We want to connect people with potential employers, and by bringing the fair to their neighborhood we hope to reach people who otherwise might not know about the employment and training resources that are available to them.”
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that Visitacion Valley, which includes the Sunnydale public housing community, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the City—60% more than the citywide average. This high rate of unemployment illustrates stark employment disparities for the City, as more than 90% of Visitacion Valley residents are people of color. Asian American residents make up the greatest number of people who are unemployed in the neighborhood, and the rate of unemployment for Visitacion Valley’s African American residents is five times that of the City average.
“As we push for more local hiring, not only in construction but in healthcare, hospitality and the tech industry, we need to continue to bring these opportunities to our most vulnerable residents,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton. “This is one of many ways we are looking to close the economic wealth gap in our great city. I’m happy to stand with the Mayor as she continues to support the residents of District 10 and the city of San Francisco by connecting them to employers.”
Over twenty employers are participating in the hiring fair, and some companies, such as Artisan Restaurant Collection, Target, Safeway, SPIN, and Amazon, are interviewing candidates on the spot in preparation for an increased demand for workers during the holiday season. The City and County of San Francisco and other agencies will also be hiring for long-term positions in a variety of industries. Job seekers will have the chance to connect to resources and talk with employers, non-profit service providers, and city agencies. The Department of Human Resources will offer a workshop to teach residents about how to navigate the job application process for openings with the City. The Public Defender’s Office will be on site to discuss their Clean Slate Program, which is designed to help people secure employment after being involved in the criminal justice system by dismissing convictions, sealing arrest records, obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, ending probation early, and reducing a felony to a misdemeanor.
After Chinatown, Visitacion Valley has the greatest concentration of limited-English proficient (LEP) speakers in San Francisco, including the second-highest concentration of LEP Chinese speakers. Interpreters will provide translation services throughout the job fair for non-English and limited English speakers.
“Housing and job resources are crucial for keeping residents in the City. With one of the lowest median household incomes in San Francisco, Visitacion Valley is a neighborhood that needs more resources to help connect residents to jobs and on a path towards upward mobility,” said Joshua Arce, Director of Workforce at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “When we go directly into the neighborhood, we are making sure our residents are aware of the opportunities and resources available to them.”
This job fair is part of Mayor Breed’s efforts to reach underserved neighborhoods and communities. The first Job Fair was held in December 2018 at the Fillmore Heritage Center, and the most recent job fair was held in August 2019 specifically for older adults and people with disabilities. In September, Mayor Breed celebrated the grand opening of a Job Center in the Oceanview, Merced Heights, and Ingleside neighborhoods, which will provide comprehensive services for jobseekers and employers.
“We are excited to have the job fair at our Job Center here in Visitacion Valley,” said FACES SF Executive Director Lawland Long. “It’s important for the needs to be met on this side of town where we have so many limited English speakers and public housing residents. We can’t say we are serving our communities if we aren’t serving all of our communities.”
“Right now I work full time, but sometimes it feels like it’s not enough,” said Amy Fung, Visitacion Valley resident. “Having a job fair where I can talk to employers and City departments about my future goals, interview, and work with the Department of Human Resources to help me apply for my next job is really helpful. I already have the skills; I just need some advice and someone to give me a chance.”
Earlier this year, Mayor Breed introduced her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20 and 2020-21 in Sunnydale. The finalized City budget included over $146 million in new funding for the production and preservation of affordable housing. Just last month, Mayor Breed celebrated the groundbreaking of 167 new permanently affordable homes in the Sunnydale neighborhood—part of the Mayor’s HOPE SF initiative with financing from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, San Francisco Housing Authority and Wells Fargo.
About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development advances equitable and shared prosperity for San Franciscans by growing sustainable jobs, supporting businesses of all sizes, creating great places to live and work, and helping everyone achieve economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit www.oewd.org.
About FACES SF
Family and Child Empowerment Services San Francisco, FACES SF, is a community-based organization that provides critical assistance to low-income families citywide, with a focus in the Haight Ashbury, Western Addition, Visitacion Valley, and Bayview Hunters Point neighborhoods in the following areas: early childhood development, workforce training, school-age enrichment programs, and family support services. For more information, please visit www.facessf.org.