"No matter where you live in San Francisco, everyone should have access to resources to connect with a job and earn a living wage," said Mayor Breed. "This area that has been overlooked for too long and we see the results of that in the unemployment rate. We need to provide people with opportunities to succeed, which is why we're making these investments to bring employers together with the community to meet people where they live and start the next stages in their careers."
Data from the most current U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey shows that the OMI neighborhood has one of the highest unemployment rates in the City, a rate that is 40 percent more than the citywide average. This high rate of unemployment disproportionately affects communities of color. African Americans are jobless at twice the rate of other neighborhood residents and Asian residents make up the greatest number of unemployed people in the OMI.
The OMI has the City's third largest population of unemployed African American residents, after the Bayview/Hunters Point and Western Addition. Many of these residents face systemic barriers to employment, including involvement in the criminal justice system education, age, disabilities, and a lack of access to programming and other wrap-around services. According to the California Employment Development Department (2018), approximately 1,600 residents are unemployed in zip code 94112, which is the highest among all San Francisco zip codes.
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"The OMI Job Center, the City's newest Neighborhood Access Point, will be a hub for job creation, education and employment resources for a neighborhood that has historically been plagued with high rates of unemployment and violence," said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. "It is a vital investment that will ultimately change lives and activate this neighborhood in a positive way. I've been pushing for this community resource since before I even became Supervisor, and it's exciting to see the funding we secured in the Board's addback process come to life."
"Today's opening is a true symbol of hope for community residents seeking to be connected to the prosperity of our city," said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "As the doors open and services are provided, this community is finally seeing its neighborhood develop in a way that meets the needs of its residents. One with spaces for children to play, small businesses that anchor communities, and job centers that expand economic opportunities with partners that understand the challenges and needs of our communities striving to move beyond the systemic barriers that have held them back."
San Francisco's workforce development system is designed to be accessible to diverse job-seekers and employers through OEWD's network of Job Centers. The OMI Job Center will be the seventh neighborhood employment resource—joining the Bayview, Chinatown, Mission, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley and Western Addition Jobs Centers, and will be the first new Job Center in over two years.
Each Job Center plays a specialized role within San Francisco's workforce system, customizing services and facilitating access for residents in opportunity neighborhoods, jobseekers with barriers to employment, underemployed people, and those seeking to enter or advance in a specific industry.
The OMI Job Center at 200 Broad St., also known as the 'Hub', will be operated by Inner City Youth (ICY), a program of Bayview based Young Community Developers (YCD), which currently operates the Bayview Job Center. The two nonprofits will partner to provide job readiness workshops, career exploration, job search assistance and connections to employment opportunities for OMI residents and jobseekers across District 11 and neighboring communities. The job center will also assist employers with job promotion, recruitment assistance, hiring events, and assistance in finding bilingual candidates.
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"Inner City Youth continually evolves to meet the changing needs of our community," said Gwendolyn Brown, ICY Director. "Opening a new center in the OMI and drawing upon our recent partnership with Young Community Developers, provides residents a space to further their education and careers."
"Our goal is to provide an integrated continuum of services to meet individual needs from 'Cradle to Career.' The Hub will provide resources to what we now know is the most historically underserved area of San Francisco," said Dion-Jay Brookter, YCD Executive Director. "YCD is proud of ICY and its work within the OMI and looks forward to what the future will bring."
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
Inner City Youth
Established in 1997, ICY was founded by Navy Veteran, Michael "Mike" Brown, to serve local teenagers and transitional youth, ages 17 and 24. To help his children academically thrive academically, Mr. Brown arranged tutoring sessions at the family home on Minerva Street. This quickly drew attention from students and residents in the OMI and thus the nonprofit was created. ICY has since grown, offering skills-based training including: web design, music/sound recording, culinary arts and hair design. In 2002 Mr. Brown's daughter, Gwendolyn Brown, graduate of Mills College, returned to ICY to contribute creative writing skills to Studio 96, a student run music studio. Today, Ms. Brown continues her father's legacy as Director.
Young Community Developers
Young Community Developers is a community-based organization that provides education and employment training opportunities to residents of San Francisco's Southeast neighborhoods. For more information, please visit www.ycdjobs.org
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