tv [untitled] October 24, 2010 9:00pm-9:30pm PST
as you know, the jobs now program, which was funded through what is referred to as e.c.f., through the federal stimulus program, is due to expire on september 30. just a week or so from today. that will impact potentially, worst-case scenario, it will impact regardless, 4,127 families in san francisco. i want to repeat that. 4,127 families will be impacted by the termination of the federal stimulus. not everyone will lose their job, however. but all of them will be impacted because their employers, be it non-profits, private sector businesses, large and small, and the city itself, will no longer have that job subsidy. and that business, that non-profit, the agency will have to make a determination of whether or not they can afford to keep these individuals employed and supporting their families. i want to put in perspective the
unemployment numbers just came out in san francisco, and, again, we're wildly out-performing every other part of san francisco, and no other urban county is doing as well. that bar is pretty high or low, depending on one's perspective. we are 44,400 people that are unemployed. this program supports 4,127. you can do the math. it's an extraordinary number of people when you consider the totality of those unemployed in this city that will be impacted by this date, september 30 of this month. the question for us is what to do. we continue to advocate aggressively for federal extension. we've had the speaker of the house lead the charge, and she has not once, but now twice gotten the house of representatives to support the extension. the president has said he will
sign it. we have senators from this state, boxer and feinstein, that have been champions in the senate. the challenge is, as everybody knows, and i mean everybody knows, you can't just get a majority of the senators to make something happen. you need 60. and for whatever reason, one party seems absolutely committed not to extend this program. which is a rather remarkable thing when you consider that potentially, these 4,000 people in the worst case scenario, and we're going to announce why we don't think that worst case scenario will take shape, will all end up on unemployment, which is $450 a week here in california, versus about a quarter of the people that we employ that are receiving $447 a week, less than an unemployment check, but actually want to continue to work, that are getting the benefit of the dignity that comes with a paycheck and are supporting our
businesses that get the benefit of their hard work and increase in revenue and sales as a consequence. it is, again, beyond me that this is not being extended or at least looks like it may not be. it's beyond me that we're not having the debate around the notion of supporting a job as opposed to supporting someone when they're unemployed. if you're going to spend the same amount of money, why wouldn't you give someone a job. if you're going to spend the same amount of money, wouldn't you give someone something that they want more than the unemployment check? and you don't have to take my word for that. we have over 1,200 people that were over here at city hall, one of the most extraordinary sights i've ever experienced as mayor, and every single person testified that they don't want to go on unemployment. even if it means a few extra buck a week.
they want the dignity that comes with work. and you heard the testimonial. channel 26, i thank them. no one else seemed to be interested. they ran testimonials of these families. and the parents saying, i go home and my kids look at my differently because i have a job. and that's what's at stake here. so this is a big deal. this should be a national debate. this should be front and center about values and ideals, what it is we're trying to do with our jobs program in this country. everyone is preaching jobs, jobs, jobs. and here we are, we're about to in this country and businesses are going to lose out more than anybody else, and the economies of counties large and small up and down this state and around the nation are going to be impacted by this, and guess what, everyone goes on unemployment insurance and end up paying more money for less. so nancy pelosi gets it. most of our friends in congress get it. senate leadership gets it. but not everybody else across
the country gets it. so we're now coming to a belief that we need to do something about it, because you know we don't always like complaining about things without coming up with solutions. so we're trying to figure out a way around this. before i give you the ideas, and trent's going to come up and scott, who has been extraordinarily helpful in getting us this far, explain a little bit in more detail. let me underscore a point that shouldn't be lost on anyone. 4,127 families, of which 2,536 are either african-american or latino. i mean, this is devastating. in bay view hunters point alone, there's close to a thousand families being supported by this program. just in the 94124 zip code. just in the one zip code. this is profound. this is unemployment rates that are two-plus times greater than the san francisco unemployment
rates. this is serious stuff. that's why we are here to underscore, not only our desire to keep fighting for the extension. we're not giving up. we're doing everything in our power to get congress to do the right thing. and it's not a lot of money. it's $2.5 billion. now they're talking about $1.5 billion. we'll take it. of that, only $55 million has supported the 5,000 folks we've employed. a lot of folks criticizing the stimulus. i don't know that anyone can criticize the job creation. it's greater than any program in the stimulus. there's simply not another stimulus program, not one. no one can point out. i've challenged folks for a year and a half. there's not one stimulus program that creates more direct jobs than this. and for a lot of folks, it's less money than what they received on unemployment. if you want to help small
businesses, you want to help the private sector and you actually believe the stimulus is as important as i do, this is a no-brainer. but it's getting caught up in the politics of d.c. so here we are, recognizing not reality. may not happen. we've gotten creative. trent and his team are creative as it gets. we say, what do we do with 4,000 families that may lose their jobs? how do we incentivize them to keep people employed? and so we spent the last couple months in a parallel strategy fighting for extension and trying to come up with a creative solution, where we believe we can employ roughly 1,740 folks by investing about $9 million of local money differently. i think the best approach is not job training in an environment like this, but a job itself. so we have a lot of job training
money. we're going to start redirecting some of that money to actual jobs. and we are going to move some money around, trying to explain how all that happens, that can help support these families. which is as good as we can figure out at this stage to do, which is pretty impressive, but it requires a lot of ingenuity. it's going to require potentially the board of supervisors to support moving a few dollars around. i think it's a good solution under the circumstances. i want to just again thank scott and others that helped us design this. it's not perfect, but it's, i think, appropriate and prudent and could be very, very beneficial. and i want to, again, just acknowledge trent and his team for their effort, their leadership, their creativity, their hard work, and the budget
team, greg and others, for getting us to this point of announcement, and then to get the support we need at the board. >> thank you, mr. mayor. i'm trent, the director of the human services agency. clearly, when you're looking at a federal stimulus program -- the mayor said $55 million, we're probably going to be close to $60 million by the end of the mom. we can't replicate that with local dollars, but we wanted to mitigate the job losses, particularly for placements in the public sector positions as well as individuals who are in a non-profit, more structured transitional program. we know that those individuals will be losing their jobs at the end of the month, because we simply can't sustain their wages. we've come up with a $9 million proposal that's targeted to those individuals who are now in the public sector. and we are going to be providing a $2,500 flat subsidy to private employers who pick up these
individuals who will be losing their jobs on the 30th. all of these folks have gone through pretty intensive training while they're in their placements, and also transitional training. resume improvement, job interviewing skills, job search. we know a lot of those folks will find jobs on their own, but ç more will not. so this program is first and foremost targeted to them. it will be a $2,500 flat subsidy to employers. to incentivize retention in the private sector of folks who are currently placed there, in order to be eligible for the $2,500 subsidy, employers have to keep their jobs and employees who they currently have. many employers have one or two folks placed there. their subsidy will end at the end of september. the vast majority of them, 82% of them, have said that these employees have improved efficiencies of their business.
72% said they related in increased sales. we anticipate that many of those individuals will stay on absent the subsidy. to incentivize that, we said that -- the guidelines will be to get this additional $2,500 for the new candidate, you will have to keep your existing employees and pay them out of your payroll. we've also created new opportunities with the new slots, targeted to families on the city's welfare to work program. we hope to place them for the first time in subsidized jobs. how are we funding this? well, one of the lessons that we've learned at the human services agency around the efficacy of employment training programs is that subsidized employment works. that we have placed, again, over 4,100 people, over 85% of whom have succeeded. they have job skills, they want to work. they just don't have the opportunity. we're looking at reorienting a
rt of what we do internally, using the money that we currently have to sustain a lot of this $9 million. we're exploring with the mayor's budget office options for additional general funds. if you look at the investment of $9 million and what that will buy us, it will buy us 1,700 job placements, which is a pretty good run on our investment. at the same time, we'll be helping 25 families that are eligible. back to public assistance if we worked long enough. we'll also be serving non-custodial parents, the extent that they're participating in the program, dads who aren't living at home, but are eligible to be served. it was designed internally but with a lot of input from the private sector. scott helped us bounce some
ideas off him and some of his colleagues in the small business community. and throughout the program. i can't thank scott enough for his feedback and being a soundingboard, not only for internal program operations, but also really on program design and what small businesses look for in terms of supporting wages and hiring individuals. so i'll turn over to scott for a few comments and be happy to answer some questions. >> i'm scott, i'm the president of small business california. i also own a small business in san francisco. i have about 29 employees. disappointed in the federal government for not continuing this program. it's been an obvious success, in my mind. one of the things that's been a little frustrating in trying to extend this is when we started a couple of weeks ago or so, the lack of knowledge of people who
are benefiting in their state, to understand what was going on. so you had a big education factor. and then, of course, we had the problems with the republicans and the just say no. so we're going to continue to fight to get this extended. but i do want to applaud the mayor for looking at other options to help small businesses and businesses in general. i've owned my company since 1977. and i can honestly say that this ever had. every dollar counts. and just to clarify, you've heard the debate about small business and the tax cuts. i want to make it very clear that i'm not one of those small businesses that's making over $250,000. so every dollar counts. so this $2,500 clearly isn't going to cover the salary, but i'm able to keep my employee -- very honestly, would have kept the employee anyhow, because she
was such a good employee that when you get somebody good, you don't want to let them go. but as i said, every thrar counts and this will help my bisms and again, thank you, mr. mayor, and thank you, trent. >> so that's the idea. most of this we can do internally, and there's a small portion that will be working with the board to get us to that $9 million mark. i think we have the authority, the executive authority to address about seven million of the nine million. so we'll move forward expeditiously. we'll be prepared for october 1 and we'll continue to fight in congress and hope and expect that they do the right thing to support this very successful stimulus program that does exactly what everyone of all ideological stripes hope to do, and that is bring private sector jobs in an economy that desperately needs those private sector jobs. any questions on this?
>> is there any way that saving these jobs -- i can almost hear the board of supervisors now, and the unions perhaps saying, ok, you've laid off all these city workers. how are you going to use city general fund money? >> yeah, the reality at the end of the day, there weren't that many people -- don't get me wrong. you'll find, i'm sure you'll check someone we did lay off can say how can the mayor say this? but at the end of the day, a rt of myth versus reality about a lot of people that were quote unquote laid off. a lot of that was done through attrition savings. a lot of that was done by moving people around, and being creative. but the bottom line is private sectors the engine of our economic growth. small business are the net job creators. if you want to grow your budget, grow the economy.
if you want to have the resources to invest in people and programs and place, grow the private sector economy. that's the spirit of this. and the spirit that labor has supported. i mean, this has not been at odds with public employee unions. they've been quite solicitous and helpful and very supportive of our efforts. so i don't see that as a particular conflict. and i should also note that we've reduced our welfare roles in this city with this program 20%. in this economic climate. and that's a win for everyone. that actually offsets the burden on the general fund. that means we have more money to invest in other parts of our system, and i know trent wants to add to that. >> when we designed the public sector track, the trainee track. what we've seen is even the constraints on the general fund and hiring constraints,
departments are still hiring some folks and filling some vacancies. the public service trainees program is work exactly as we'd hoped. they're scoring well and they're getting hired. the human services agency has hired a number of folks right out of the public service training program to do case work and eligibility work. that's really sort of the design of that. in terms of the welfare roles, the mayor is right. about a 350% increase when you compare the prior year in terms of numbers of families leaving welfare. in san francisco, about 5,000 people are on it. that does represent about 20% of our case load. of course, we have new families coming on daily and weekly, but through this local program, we hope that many of those families will qualify. >> one other question about the specifics of how the program works. is there any amount of time
written into this that the employers have to guarantee that they will keep those jobs and workers on the payroll in order to get the 2,500? >> i'm looking at my staff. tony, the timeline to get this $2,500 subsidy? >> it's a reimbursement of wages, so the employee will have to pay at least $2,500 worth of wages to get that back. >> so the direct answer is, depending on the wage and the hours worked, that's how long the subsidy would go. >> you don't want to cut $9 million and find out that two months down the road -- >> what we've learned, though, barbara, is that these employees have added value to companies, and it's an incentive to hire from this pool of candidates who we have prescreened and who we refer to interviews, to get in
that job and to succeed and to contribute positively to the company. and we hope that after the $2,500 subsidy is up, that they keep that. that's what we're learning already on the current program. >> you understand how difficult it is to get an employee, to turn the employee. >> yes, a good employee is like gold. it's probably one of the biggest challenges with a small business is finding good employees and keeping them. but the other aspect -- you hear about increasing sales and those types of things. but the biggest benefit for me is when i brought this employee on, i took some pressure off my other staff and improved employee morale within any company. that's gone a long way in my agency. >> -- without the $2,500 incentive. if a good worker -- i would agree with you.
>> bash remark let me clarify. the $2,500 is for new hires. it's not to keep existing employees on. it's for new -- >> [inaudible] >> they do. but on their own dime. the $2,500 federal, state, and city money is going for new hires. >> to is -- so the assumption is they wouldn't hire a new person unless they intended to keep that person for a while. >> is there a job training program in there? >> no. >> to support this program not only for wages, we also have staff. we have placement staff. we have business account reps to recruit private business. we have caseworkers. those are all part of the $9 million. it's not just for subsidy. and so what we're doing is reorienting them away from what they were doing before.
>> so once again, we're hoping that half the employees will stay employed and the other half, the loser employment, will create this incentive and try to keep as many of them on as possibly can until roughly 1,740. again, patching things together and creating ways if a difficult climate. the best solution is to extend this for another year, increase the number of people getting the job subsidies. lower the unemployment rate, generate some sales tack, payroll tax, have more consumer spending, which drives more demand, which drives the economy and reduces unemployment further. but that would just be an actual application of reality versus an academic discussion about what's wrong with each party and whether or not the stimulus was good or bad, which is utterly irrelevant to the realities across the country. it's beyond frustrating. i think we've got three or four of these press conferences and i say i fizz logically get caught
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>> it is going to be a good thing for us to take used motor oil from customers. we have a 75-gallon tank that we used and we have someone take it from here to recycle. >> so far, we have 35 people. we have collected 78 gallons, if not more. these are other locations that you can go. it is absolutely free. you just need to have the location open. you are set to go.