YouthWorks Joins Meeting with DOL Secretary Hilda Solis and Mayor Ed Lee
On Tuesday July 24th, a group of people involved in summer youth employment were invited to attend an important meeting at San Francisco City Hall. Attending this meeting were US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Mayor Ed Lee and SF Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza. All three individuals emphasized how strongly they feel about the importance of youth jobs.
Andrew Wu, a former YouthWorks intern, attended this event as a representative of our program and had this to say about it:
“The meeting with the US Secretary of Labor was my proudest moment in my professional life. I worked as an intern for SF YouthWorks, and that was what I attended this meeting to represent. I talked about my experience working at the Public Defender’s Office and how it led to my decision to one day practice law.
It felt good to talk about these things in front of the cameras and our leaders. They need to know that jobs are important in the lives of young people. In April, Ed Lee promised to create 5000 jobs for young people in the Bay Area this summer. Today, with the collaboration of the private sector, City departments, and non-profits, he created 5002 jobs and counting. That is something to celebrate about and young people who have jobs are evidence that our leaders are doing a good job.”
Betsy Merzenich, Director of SF YouthWorks, says: “It was great to be at the table with all of these amazing youth, employers, providers and leaders. I enjoyed hearing Mayor Lee’s story about the conference of Mayors meeting with Barack Obama in the spring, when the President challenged urban mayors to be bold in creating jobs for young people in their cities this summer. Mayor Lee also spoke about City departments leading the way with efforts to create the first jobs, and I felt proud that YouthWorks had played a part in that effort.
When Secretary Solis spoke, I was impressed by her remarks about the need for new job training models, the role of the private sector, and the unique accomplishments in San Francisco this summer in creating youth jobs. She was very interested in hearing from the youth at the table, and listened intently to their comments. I was proud of our interns for representing our program so well with their insightful and clear comments.”