Going out into the workforce can be an intimidating and frightening experience, especially for those seeking their first employment.
San Francisco’s Summer Jobs+ is a local program designed to get young people between 16 to 24 years old working summer jobs or paid internships as part of President Barack Obama’s call to create jobs. Youths can participate in mock interviews and improve their résumés with help from various participating organizations.
“This is a program that’s geared towards youth in helping them find jobs,” said Maria Stokes, spokeswoman of United Way of the Bay Area, an organization that works to strengthen communities and decrease poverty. “It just really gives a leg up in their job search.”
Mayor Ed Lee is asking businesses and nonprofit organizations to hire teens and young adults for entry-level positions.
The goal is to get 5,000 youth working in San Francisco alone. United Way of the Bay and AfterCollege, a career network website that helps students leaving college find jobs, are collaborating with the program.
“President Obama issued this call to the nation to create 250,000 jobs for young people, especially people who are considered disadvantaged, disconnected or at risk to help them find meaningful summer employment,” Stokes said.
Twitter, Zynga, Jamba Juice and UPS are just some of the local companies offering jobs in the program. The city and county of San Francisco has also pledged to create 2,500 jobs for youth. So far, 3,000 jobs are available.
Glenn Eagleson, senior planner and policy analyst for the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, explained that certain city departments already have summer job or internship programs but are creating more jobs to help achieve the goal.
“Everyone has really stepped up,” Eagleson said. “Taking existing programs and making them bigger and adding more positions.”
“If you hire young people, it helps launch them in the workforce,” Angulo said.
SF State creative writing major Hank Brown, 19, who is currently unemployed, said students like himself could really benefit from Summer Jobs+.
“It’s always nice to have a helping hand or a nudge that we need,” Brown said.
Youths are invited to attend the program’s Resource Fair May 12 and participate in free workshops for help with resumes, cover letters and completing applications. Stoke encourages those who attend the fair to bring their resumes and cover letters, and dress professionally to meet with potential employers.
Stokes encourages people to take advantage of the various services provided before applying and going on interviews.
SF Summer Jobs+ program is designed to prepare youth for the future. Those interested in the program can visit hiresfyouth.com to begin the job search and to get more information. Stokes encourages people to take advantage of this opportunity to gain experience and skills before it’s too late.
“Now is a really important time to start working, don’t wait until school is over,” Stokes said. “Companies are interested and starting their hiring process now.”
A new summer jobs program in San Francisco will give teens and young adults the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and skills they will need to facilitate this process in the future.