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Lee, Pelosi, and Corporate Partners Rally for Youth

Posted on April 12, 2012, by United Way in

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined United Way to announce the launch of San Francisco Summer Jobs+, the local response to President Obama's national call to action to create pathways to employment for youth this summer. The goal is to create 5,000 jobs and paid internships for young people with a focus on low-income and disconnected youth.

Roughly 200 people attended the launch event. Mayor Lee urged San Francisco business leaders to join in United Way's effort to create jobs or sponsor summer internships to boost the local economy and introduce new talent and skills into the San Francisco workforce.

“I'm calling on all San Francisco companies to take on this challenge to support the youth of San Francisco,” said Mayor Lee. “Creating meaningful employment opportunities for our young people today will set them up for success now and in the future.”

Leader Pelosi followed and said, “Our city is rising to the challenge with San Francisco Summer Jobs+ which will get young people into workplaces, gaining skills, knowledge, and experience. This partnership between businesses, nonprofits and government will strengthen our youth, our city, and indeed our nation.”

Youth also had their say, and Elisha Hawkins, a former United Way MatchBridge member, brought down the house when she closed the program. She said, “I grew up in the projects, in a neighborhood surrounded by negativity and high crime rate. These programs give youth hope and the opportunity to get off the streets. I urge Bay Area companies out there to take a chance on youth. We'll pay off.”

After the program, Eric McDonnell, United Way's COO, went down into the crowd Oprah style as business leaders stood and made their pledges. PG&E led the way with a $125,000 gift which will sponsor at least 25 youth internships this summer. Other pledges included AT&T, Bank of America, BRE Properties, Boston Consulting, Deloitte, Revolution Foods, Jamba Juice, Salesforce, UPS, Wells Fargo and Zynga.

To learn more about San Francisco Summer Jobs+ and the growing list of companies who are pledging jobs and internships, click here.

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