Mayor London N. Breed, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), and the Dignity Fund Coalition today will host a hiring fair focused on connecting older adults and people with disabilities with employment opportunities. The fair will include on the spot interviews, making it the first of its kind in San Francisco. The fair is from 10:00am-2:00pm in the War Memorial Green Room, located at 401 Van Ness Ave., 2nd floor. Mayor Breed will attend the fair and address attendees at 11:15am. The event is open to the public.
“This hiring fair isn’t just another job fair. It is a way to break down barriers and make sure that our older adults and residents with disabilities have the resources and support they need to secure employment so that no one is left behind,” said Mayor Breed. “These groups face a unique set of challenges that make them especially vulnerable to poverty, eviction, homelessness, social isolation, and depression. Helping them get a job is critical to ensuring they can live a healthy and happy life.”
“San Francisco is leading the way with this groundbreaking Job Fair to offer unique resources and connections for older adults and people with disabilities,” stated Supervisor Norman Yee, President of the Board of Supervisors. “This is not just about employment, but about dismantling stereotypes and recognizing that these jobseekers have so much to offer in terms of experience and skills. As our aging population grows, we have to adapt to changing times by providing more practical tools to ensure that our older adults are able to stay active, engaged, and fulfilled.”
Over 200 people are expected to attend, including job seekers, dozens of employers, Dignity Fund providers, and representatives from City Departments. Participants with résumés will be able to interview on the spot with some employers, and have the potential of walking out the door with a new job. The event will include workshops and resource tables for job seekers who need assistance with their resume, interview preparation, job searching, or have questions about government benefits. Representatives from LinkedIn will also attend to help fair participants create online profiles.
“In San Francisco, more and more older adults find themselves having to work later in life just to make ends meet, and jobseekers with disabilities are at least three times more likely to be unemployed,” said Josh Arce, Director of Workforce Development at OEWD. “We’re grateful to our service providers and employers for coming together for this job fair to bring jobs and resources directly to those community members.”
“One in four San Franciscans is an older adult or adult with a disability, yet they often face unique barriers to employment, including discrimination,” said Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of the Department of Aging and Adult Services. “Many in these communities are looking for work and would be excellent assets to employers. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing segment of the labor force. With this first ever hiring fair for older adults and those with disabilities, we applaud the many organizations who are participating in this event, as they are truly leading by example.”
Older adults and adults with disabilities make up more than a quarter of all San Francisco residents. Moreover, over half of all people with disabilities in San Francisco are also seniors. While San Francisco’s economy has grown and the overall unemployment rate has seen record lows, older adults and people with disabilities face relatively high levels of unemployment and job discrimination, and comprise the largest portion of those living below the poverty level. A decades-long national study found that 56% of older workers are laid off or pushed out of their jobs, and two-thirds have experienced ageism. Last week, Mayor Breed signed the City budget for Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21, which includes $14.1 million for rental subsidies for seniors and rent-burdened families.
Seniors are the fastest growing segment in the labor market. While positions are currently left unfilled at organizations, many older adults and adults with disabilities have the experience and skills that employers are seeking. This hiring event will bring these parties together.
“A job fair for older adults is important because there are many older adults out there that need a job and they aren’t even given the opportunities. We are responsible, we will deliver, and we pay attention to detail on what needs to be done,” said Shomari Kenyatta, a resident of North Beach/Chinatown. “I am very accountable and take pride in my work and haven’t missed a day yet. This job fair personally means a lot to me because it lets me know that someone is paying attention and providing actions to support older adults and people with disabilities.”
“I retired a few years ago, but I enjoyed my working life, and I feel that I still have a lot to offer in terms of experience and work-place ‘wisdom,’” said Kathy Barr. “For the past 25 years, my work has kept me active and social, and I’ve been an engaged member of the non-profit community. In addition to all the benefits working gives me, I am also able to earn money to make ends meet here in San Francisco.”
About the Dignity Fund Coalition
The Dignity Fund Coalition is a broad coalition of San Francisco nonprofit and community organizations and advocates who have come together to address the growing need for services and support for seniors, adults with disabilities, veterans, and those living with chronic illnesses. The Dignity Fund, established via a charter amendment passed by voters in 2016, guarantees funding to enhance supportive services for older adults and adults with disabilities. The fund is administered by the Department of Aging and Adult Services and together with the Dignity Fund Coalition ensures that San Francisco seniors and adults with disabilities are able to live with dignity, independence, and good health in their homes and communities by making our City a more aging and disability-friendly place.
About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development advances shared prosperity for San Franciscans by growing sustainable jobs, supporting businesses of all sizes, creating great places to live and work, and helping everyone achieve economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit www.oewd.org.
About the Department of Aging and Adult Services
Part of the Human Services Agency, DAAS provides services for older adults, veterans, people with disabilities and their caregivers to maximize their safety, health, and independence. The Benefits and Resources Hub streamlines access to services by providing information and making connections to available services throughout the City. For more information and to apply for available services, call (415) 355-6700, or visit 2 Gough St.