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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London Breed Announces Launch of New Economic Recovery Program to Support and Retrain Workers

$28 million program will expand workforce development, paid training, and job placement for adults and youth in San Francisco, and will include targeted resources to address the disproportionate Black unemployment rate with funding from the Dream Keeper Initiative

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced a new economic recovery program for workforce development, paid training programs, and job placement and employment services for San Franciscans. The $28 million Building Back Stronger program includes funding from the City’s Dream Keeper Initiative, which Mayor Breed announced last week, and will expand services for workers and jobseekers, address long-standing economic inequities and disparities in unemployment, and bolster the City’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City’s $28 million investment in workforce programs is the result of two years of planning, and a full year of public meetings and listening sessions organized by San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD). The programs funded by this investment will help adults, youth, and San Franciscans who experience barriers to employment. In putting together the Building Back Stronger program, OEWD incorporated recommendations from the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force to develop a coordinated, comprehensive workforce development strategy and provide culturally-competent, accessible job training and career connections for job seekers and those who have lost work due to the pandemic.

“With this funding, we’re addressing the immediate needs caused by COVID-19, with job placement and training for people who are unemployed, and we’re making longer-term investments so that our residents are prepared with the skills they need to fully participate in San Francisco’s recovery,” said Mayor London Breed. “These workforce programs help people find good jobs and make their careers right here in San Francisco, especially people in neighborhoods and communities that have historically been left behind. These investments will help our residents and our entire city recover and come back stronger than we were before.”

The workforce funding seeks to addresses the needs of job seekers and dislocated workers, while preparing for a more equitable economy. As such, the services provided with this investment will help prepare San Franciscans for in-demand jobs and opportunities that will arise during San Francisco’s economic recovery, including in the technology, health care and construction sectors, as well as emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing, cannabis, and transportation. The funding will also promote employment equity and target longstanding disparities in employment.

In San Francisco, the unemployment rate for Black residents, despite decreasing in recent years, continues to remain approximately triple the citywide average. As part of the City’s Dream Keeper Initiative, $6 million will go towards paid training and supportive services to address this disparity. The Dream Keeper Initiative is a citywide effort to improve outcomes for San Francisco’s Black and African-American youth and their families, and is funded with $120 million that Mayor Breed redirected from law enforcement to the African-American community. An additional $4 million is available through the Opportunities for All program, which Mayor Breed created in 2018 and provides paid employment, job training, and mentorship opportunities for San Francisco youth and young adults.

“The City’s response to our workforce “Building Back Stronger,” is a strategic move to help in our economic recovery and help Black people prepare for jobs and careers. I am excited that a 6 million dollar investment is being made to support the Black community’s success during recovery,” said Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton. “Together we will ensure that our communities have access to workforce programming and that they are ready for the jobs as we recover from the employment impacts of COVID-19.”

“San Francisco’s most precious resource is its people. This $28 million investment in workforce development, training, job placement and employment services is a mechanism to ensure that as San Francisco builds back stronger, it also strengthens the communities that have always made it resilient,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “My District has the largest population of working families and preparing them for success in our workforce is a top priority.”

“The Building Back Stronger Initiative outlines our strategy to rebuild our economy focusing on residents that not only have been impacted by this pandemic but individuals and youth in our Black, brown and underserved communities who have been left behind for far too long. Our strategy will deploy programs and services to get people back to work and pay residents to get trained in industries where they have strong pathways to careers. It will also focus on bringing employment resources to meet the people most in need to where they are now,” said Anne Taupier, Acting Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “This historic re-investment to advance equity for our Black community is a step towards righting the wrongs of the past. I want to thank Mayor London Breed and Board President Shamann Walton for their leadership and also thank Sheryl Davis with the Human Rights Commission, Assessor and former OEWD Director, Joaquín Torres and Workforce Director Josh Arce for their work in amplifying voices within the community and bringing critical resources to light.”

$28 Million in Workforce Investments (Fiscal Year 2021-22)

The investment of $28 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22 blends federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and Community Development Block Grant funds with state and local dollars, including the Dream Keeper Initiative, to provide a range of workforce development programs. This funding will enable the City to fully-fund its existing programs, expand programs and services, and create new, centralized resources for job seekers. The core of the City’s workforce investments includes:

Neighborhood, Satellite, and Specialized Jobs Centers

  • Neighborhood Job Centers provide neighborhood-based workforce services and offer an entry-point into San Francisco’s comprehensive workforce system. This funding will expand neighborhood job centers in communities based on need.
  • The funding offers the potential for new “Satellite Job Centers” to serve neighborhoods that may not have a level of unemployment that requires a comprehensive set of wrap-around services, but where residents nonetheless look to connect with the workforce system.
  • OEWD funds Specialized Job Centers, which deliver customized employment services focused on specific target populations, including the residents involved in the criminal justice system, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and other segments of the population that have specific workforce development needs as a result of their status in a protected group.

Young Adult Workforce Programs

  • Targeted services for people ages 16-24 offer multiple entry-points into workforce programming with various degrees of support for Transitional-Aged Youth (TAY). Services include employment and educational services from career exploration to wrap-around support; paid work experience models in targeted industries; and bootcamp models that integrate hands-on work experience with GED/High School Diploma coursework.
  • The young adult programs aligns with the Mayor’s Opportunities for All program to reach communities that may have otherwise been overlooked by the City’s workforce system. 

Sector Workforce Training Programs

  • Funding will go towards workforce training programs specifically aimed at recruiting, training, and placing workers in industries identified as key to the City’s economic recovery, such as technology, health care and construction, as well as emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing, cannabis, and transportation.
  • This investment provides full funding for the City’s existing TechSF, HealthCare Academy, and CityBuild programs. These programs provide training that will support the City’s efforts to recovery and rebuild equitably.
  • The City’s Hospitality Initiative is instrumental in addressing the workforce needs of hotels and restaurants through multiple training tracks. The sector has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, so the City will focus on outreach and direct employment services to job seekers looking for opportunities at hotels, restaurants, and office buildings and prepare them for work as the City and State reopens

Workforce Development and Training for San Francisco’s Black and African American Community

  • Funding from the Dream Keeper Initiative will go to reducing the Black unemployment gap through paid training, education, and development for African Americans to work at educational institutions, in technology, in health, in early childhood education, the arts, in cannabis, and other community-prioritized sectors.

Equity and Economic Recovery Pilot Programs

  • OEWD is accepting proposals for programs that advance “Principles of Employment Equity” developed in partnership with the Human Rights Commission and community members, supporting our most vulnerable community members through strategies such as financial empowerment, worker cooperatives, and increased language access. 
  • A portion of the funding will go towards pilot programs that tap into the expertise and creativity of service providers. This offers service providers the opportunity to propose innovative programs that are outside of OEWD’s sector framework and that focus on an equitable recovery from the pandemic. 

“I am encouraged by the commitment of Mayor Breed and OEWD to advance equity in a way that seeks to address not just the symptoms, but looks at root causes,” said Sheryl Davis, Executive Director, San Francisco Human Right Commission. “Income gaps contribute to many of the disparities we see in our communities, and these investments have the potential to improve outcomes now and into the future for our most vulnerable populations.”

“Women, people of color, immigrants and those just entering the workforce, age 16 to 24, are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. I am excited about the new opportunities this program may bring that never existed before, such as training and career pathways to high demand jobs in the technology, healthcare and construction sectors,” said City Administrator Carmen Chu, who also served as Co-chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force. “We must address the rapidly changing needs of the City’s workforce and the needs of our emerging economy. Connecting jobseekers with training like this means our residents can continue to build their families in San Francisco.”

“As the longtime chair of the workforce development board I have seen up close and worked hard to confront racial inequity. San Francisco has long understood that Black Lives Matter and that economic prosperity and social justice go hand in hand. With that as our base, as we get past COVID and into the great recovery, those values will help us, truly, build back better,” said Kevin Carroll, President & CEO of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. 

 “The City is on the path to recovery and can align its resources to serve job seekers and connect them to employment in family sustaining jobs,” said Rudy Gonzalez, who served as co-chair of City's Economic Recovery Task Force and currently heads the San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council. “This initiative makes real the call to invest in jobs for our hardest hit communities and is key to an equitable recovery.”

San Francisco’s Workforce Programs During COVID-19

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment in San Francisco increased from less than 2.2% to over 12.6% in just two months, increasing the ranks of those San Franciscans unemployed and seeking work nearly sevenfold. Since March 2020, San Francisco’s workforce programs, funded by OEWD, have been offering services for dislocated workers in industries that have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Services include career assessment and coaching; job search assistance; job training in tech, health care, construction, and other emerging industries; and transitional employment resources, including supportive services. OEWD’s workforce programs are grounded in equity and are aimed at addressing disparities around race, gender, and socioeconomic factors.

Request for Proposals Details

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development is soliciting providers to deliver these programs through an open Request for Proposals process. Technical assistance and support services are being offered to applicants during the process. 

The deadline for organizations to submit proposals is March 31, 2021. More information on the RFP can be found at:

The RFP was developed with input from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Economic Recovery Task Force, Workforce Alignment Committee, Workforce Investment San Francisco Board, Office of Racial Equity, and Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office.