San Francisco Mayor Lee issued a challenge to San Francisco businesses to create 6,000 jobs this past summer for young people 16-24 years old. United Way and its Matchbridge Program funded 6 organizations to act as "doorways" to the private sector jobs. Doorway organizations were charged with recruiting at least 150 youth into "drop in" hours, screening at least 50 young people and working with them to become job ready.
CHALK and its youth outreach department were selected to be a “doorway” and was the only one of the 6 that operated with a youth leadership strategy; recruitment consisted of youth-led street outreach, screening was done in partnership with youth staff and workshops were youth facilitated. This strategy was extremely effective:
- CHALK recruited 179 youth for jobs; 159 of whom were screened for private-sector employment
- 105 youth (59%) learned how to develop a resume
- 43 youth (24%) secured summer employment (all within 1 month of initial contact)
- CHALK provided workshops on professional communication, resume building and interview etiquette; 16 workshops in total throughout the summer
- 100% of workshop youth said they learned something new
On September 18th United Way put on an event celebrating the success of the summer jobs campaign. Four of our young people were selected to attend as special guests, got to meet the mayor and each received a letter of recommendation from United Way of the Bay Area.