Grow and prepare our workforce

February 9, 2023

Growing and diversifying the workforce, linking workers to quality jobs, and ensuring an adequate supply of housing will help businesses find the right employees, creating more opportunities to share in our city’s economic prosperity.


San Francisco’s strong economy is rooted in its extremely productive labor force. A large pool of qualified workers is central to staying competitive, attracting new businesses, and helping them to grow. We must work to include San Franciscans at all educational and experience levels in our economy by continuing to invest in industry-specific training and by collaborating with businesses to build strategic programs that connect jobseekers from underemployed communities to promising job opportunities. The City must also ensure an adequate supply of housing for workers and their families to maintain and grow the local workforce.

The City has begun to advance a series of initiatives and will launch additional programs that support this strategy:

  • Implement the Mayor’s Housing for All plan to deliver housing for our workforce.
  • Provide industry-informed training programs that target resources to employers’ shifting needs.
  • Expand outreach to grow the workforce through programs that match new job seekers and those outside the labor force with emerging opportunities.



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Deliver housing for our workforce

San Francisco’s housing shortage hurts workers, families, and our economic recovery. It hurts our ability to recruit businesses who want to locate here but are concerned with where their workers will live. To address this, the City will implement Mayor Breed’s Housing for All plan to fundamentally change how San Francisco approves and builds housing.

  • Housing for All is the implementation plan for the recently certified Housing Element, which sets the City's goals and policies to allow for 82,000 new homes to be built over the next eight years. It consists of administrative reforms, legislative actions, and government accountability actions and puts forward new tools that will address longstanding hurdles to producing housing including stabilizing unpredictable impact fees, making City funding available for required public infrastructure and revising inclusionary housing requirements to make more projects financially feasible   
  • As a first step to set this plan in motion, Mayor Breed has issued an Executive Directive that lays the groundwork for the City to unlock its housing pipeline, accelerate the approval of new housing projects, and create additional capacity for all types of housing across San Francisco.
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Industry-informed training programs 

The labor market often can’t keep up with changes in the job market and new job requirements. In the post-pandemic context, a number of shifts have occurred in the types of jobs available and the skills employees are expected to have. 

  • Through the Employer Support initiative, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development engages with employers, labor unions, and industry associations to identify employment needs from small and large businesses and inform workforce programming priorities to help guide job seekers, and partner to deliver population/ industry-specific job fairs and hiring events.  

  • The initiative will build upon OEWD’s employer engagement programs such as WorkforceLinkSF to help businesses recruit new workers and provide a resource of in-demand jobs for our diverse community of job seekers. 

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Expanded outreach to grow the workforce

Changes in business models and practices due to the pandemic have caused many workers to have a hard time finding work opportunities or have left the labor force altogether.  

  • The City will expand outreach in 2023 to new job seekers, underemployed and displaced workers, and San Franciscans not currently in the labor force by: 
    • increasing community engagement to connect with residents who have not interacted with the workforce system, 
    • promoting workforce programming like youth and young adult job centers and the WorkforceLinkSF job matching tool,
    • coordinating with City departments to better serve disadvantaged community members who have experienced barriers to employment, and  
    • promoting workforce training and support available in growing industries with quality job opportunities.


See other economic recovery strategies

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