(This is an excerpt of the press release from Mayor Ed Lee’s Office)
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today launched TechSF to train and reskill San Francisco residents for the City’s growing number of technology and IT jobs, announcing a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Technical Skills Training Grants program to jumpstart funding for the City’s major new workforce training initiative.
“Ensuring San Francisco residents have the skills and training they need to work in our City’s growing number of high tech jobs is a cornerstone of our economic strategies and critical to making sure our economic recovery reaches every neighborhood of our City,” said Mayor Lee. “This major grant from the Department of Labor for our TechSF initiative will bring City residents, technology companies and our workforce training partners together to train and reskill our residents to ‘win the future’ for San Francisco, in the words of President Obama. I want to thank the President, Secretary Solis and Leader Pelosi for strengthening public-private partnerships and investing in workforce training for our residents so that they can get the good jobs so many of our tech companies are creating right here in San Francisco today.”
In San Francisco, the TechSF grant will serve local jobseekers that are currently underrepresented in the IT sector, especially the long-term unemployed. In addition to providing education, training and job placement assistance, the grant will enhance sector partnerships, create new pathways to high-wage and high-growth careers, and integrate San Francisco’s education, training and industry efforts in the local Information Technology sector.
The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) partnered with WestEd, IBM, AT&T, City College of San Francisco and a consortium of San Francisco-based employers and community-based organizations to apply for this grant to create the TechSF Initiative to raise the technical skill of San Francisco workers.
The TechSF initiative is based on a highly successful program model, which includes building career pathways and training for in-demand skills in the rapidly changing technology industry. The partnership targets two groups of workers. One target group is local workers seeking jobs in the technology sector, at least 75 percent of whom will have been unemployed for longer than six months. The project intends to train and place more than 300 workers in this category into positions paying $25 – $50 per hour. The project’s employer consortium will help recruit participants, provide internship and work experience opportunities, and interview and hire participants who successfully complete the program.
The other target group is more than 1,400 employees in the San Francisco offices of IBM and AT&T who need training to remain competitive in their current jobs and advance into more highly skilled positions. Employees trained through this program currently earn an average hourly wage of $28 -$60 per hour. The TechSF initiative will result in 97 percent of all participants earning an industry recognized credential or degree, and 93 percent working in IT jobs after they complete training.