Until everyone is working

Here in San Francisco, we take pride in our collective way of thinking. Is it normal to wear wool in July? Of course. Shop without a reusable bag? Never. Expect the Giants to win on every even calendar year? Yes!!

Perched at the edge of the left coast, we take pride in the distinctiveness of San Francisco’s culture and our shared values. We’re all part of this great city and beyond, neighbors.

So I know you’ll find it shocking when I tell you that 23,000 of our San Francisco neighbors are feeling demeaned, helpless, scared and irrelevant. That despite San Francisco’s red-hot economy, 23,000 of our neighbors remain unemployed or under-employed; shut out because they lack the right training, skills and connections to employers.

It’s no secret that many unemployed people are struggling without solid access to education, food or housing. But, I bet you didn’t know that at least 40% of California’s unemployed people have been searching for quite a while – six months or more – making them “long-term” unemployed. These people are facing employer discrimination and more. They may have once worked by your side, or have lived on your street. For many, their mortgages are in arrears, and their retirement savings are gone. They are in danger of falling into poverty.

When the surrounding counties are included, 23,000 quickly becomes 182,000. That’s more than the entire population of the cities of Davis and Santa Cruz – combined.

JVS exists for them.

We believe the best way to fight poverty – or prevent it in the first place – is with a job. Work has the power to transform lives, instill dignity and move us from dependency and insecurity to mobility and opportunity. I work at JVS because I envision a community where everyone who wants to work can work and share in the Bay Area’s growing prosperity.

These are paradoxical times. While thousands are looking for work, many employers are searching to find well-trained candidates to fill job openings. This gap – a prosperity gap – is fueling an ever-growing divide. I believe this gap can be closed, and we’re leading the effort, by connecting employers to freshly trained job seekers who can fill their openings.

JVS can’t do it alone. Join our efforts to close this prosperity gap. Read this blog and share it with your networks with the buttons above and below each post. We’ve got a front row seat to this uneven economic recovery, and we’ll be using this blog to share our thoughts and observations.

Stay in touch. Let us know what you think: about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and what skills you think are needed in today’s workplace.

And most importantly, send your neighbors to JVS so we can help them find a job.

Kim Drew
Latest posts by Kim Drew (see all)