Brightline Convenes Community Allies For SF Construction Workforce Pipeline Pilot
Over the summer of 2014, Brightline teamed up with several community-based organizations in San Francisco to create an innovative pilot program, the SF Construction Workforce Pipeline Program. This program brought together a broad set of allies, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Mission Hiring Hall, Charity Cultural Services Center, and Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth. This program had been launched with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and building trade unions to connect public school students with access to construction careers.
In June 2013, Brightline had completed a successful campaign funded by the San Francisco Foundation to develop and win a local hiring and local contracting policy on San Francisco Unified School District construction. This effort, nearly one year in the making and jumpstarted by former School Board President and current San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee, drew heavily from the original San Francisco Local Hiring Policy for Construction. The Board of Education, led by Commissioners Sandra Lee Fewer and Matt Haney as well as Superintendent Richard Carranza, passed this local hiring policy unanimously.
The passage of this policy highlighted a need for expanded career counseling for high school students in the San Francisco Unified School District in 2014. Consequently, the SF Construction Workforce Pipeline Program began to connect students with organizations from various neighborhoods in the City, including Bayview-Hunters Point, the Mission District, and Chinatown. Though direct outreach and orientations at designated schools as well as job/career/educational fairs, the Program linked students to more information about good-paying jobs and how to enroll in apprenticeships at the City's premiere workforce development program, CityBuild Academy.
With a goal of reaching out to 1,000 students, Brightline and its partners have thus maintained a diverse public/private partnership between OEWD, SFUSD, Trades apprenticeship programs, construction contractors, and community-based organizations. Ultimately, this program will in turn increase the City's construction workforce pipeline by strengthening opportunities for public school graduates to enter union apprenticeship programs and work with an increased number of local contractors to rebuild San Francisco as a better city.