tv [untitled] September 9, 2010 10:00pm-10:30pm PST
>> that is right. exactly right. or twice a week. hi, everyone. i'm executive director of the human services agency, the agency that administers the jobs now program, which we are here to talk about today. a month from now, the lesson a month from now, if congress does not enact -- does not act, this jobs program is going to go away. it will go way across the country as well. we jumped early into this program on the heels of the federal stimulus act in
february. the act allowed for 100% federal reimbursement of wages to employers who hire individuals through this program. the idea in san francisco was threefold. first would be to get people back to work, which this program has done with a wild success. the second is to help businesses small and large to either maintain or grow during this time of economic recession, and last is to stimulate the local economy, which we have done through the wages. $55 million in wages are projected to be reimbursed through the end of september of this year, and that is money going right back into the local economy. arguably one of the biggest successes of the federal stimulus act is this program nationally. today, what we want to announce, and the mayor will take the lead on this, is a new campaign or a final push to get the federal government to act to extend this program.
$2.5 million will extend it for another year. we will keep the 3000 people who have been employed in san francisco through this program on the job. the last day of august, we had to suspend our program. we are no longer enrolling new employees. we are no longer enrolling new employers. for us, we are at the status quo. we have a month left. we're working hard to get our folks ready for the transition. we hope to not have to do that, but we are preparing for pretty bad news. today, final push. the mayor will talk a little bit about the program as well. >> thanks, and thank you all very much for taking the time to be here. i actually just left senator feinstein, who has been a champion of this program. the reference that not to impress but to impress upon you that we need all the friends we can get all the champions we can get to extend this program. 3820 families are being served
by this program. these are families, many of which -- close to, in fact, 1000 of these families were on welfare, and now pulled out of welfare and have the dignity of a paycheck and the dignity that comes with a paycheck. when they come back home to feed their family. that is not a rhetorical line. that is not a line just to place some politics. that is quite literal. this program, arguably, is the most successful stimulus program in the united states of america, and i can back that up. this is a program that hires from the private sector does proportionally and benefits if the private sector does proportionally. this is a program that helps small businesses. for all of the rhetoric coming from washington, d.c., and sacramento and up and down the local municipal calls up and down this state and around the nation, here is a program that
works. this is an interesting fact that underscores it -- congress, wisely and appropriately extended unemployment insurance. what is unemployment insurance to a family in california? it means you receive $450 a week. not to work. you are looking for work, but you receive a $450 check a week to work. congress, wisely, extended that. a lot of republicans opposed it because they said we needed to find a way to fund it, but in principle, they understand the importance of unemployment benefits. here's a program where people in the trenches receive $447 a week to work. let me repeat that -- we can hand out $450 a week not to work, or 470 -- $447 a week to work. we can hand out $447 a week to
work for those that needed the most -- people with kids -- that benefit those that need those employees the most -- small business -- to go out and create wealth and opportunity and stimulate our economy. it does not get much better than that. it is beyond mesmerizing, and it goes to my frustration with the extraordinary lack of leadership in this country right now on this issue of jobs, the rhetoric aside, the lack of leadership that the fundamental fact has been ignored by elected officials. this should, more than anything else, drive people through the roof. you could pay people to work, or you could pay people not to work. if you pay people to work, and by the way, none of the folks you see right here want unemployment benefits. they all spoke eloquently when they were here, and that is just a small sampling of thousand- plus families represented right
there are people who want to keep their jobs that do not want an unemployment check. they want to go home and feel good about themselves because they worked and have the dignity of a day where they feel like their life is moving in the right direction, not stuck in neutral. but congress is not acting. the house has twice passed this. nancy pelosi hast was processed this. twice it has passed. the president and his staff -- and trust me when i say we have talked to all of them directly -- say they will sign this absolutely. only thing that is stopping small businesses from getting the benefit, families from getting the benefit, and individuals the benefit of the dignity of work is the citizens -- is the senators and politics in washington.
you should jump up and now when you find out about a program like this that creates a direct jobs, that directly helps not just governments, but the private sector. 800 employers are part of this program in san francisco alone. 20-thousand-foot -- 20,000-plus people are about to lose their jobs in the next few weeks if we do not act. this is a big deal. look at the faces. who is represented there? 70% minority. african-american community, the latino community, and the asian community where unemployment rate is exponentially higher than the state and federal average and even our local average. again, if it is all about rhetoric and politics and positioning, then support the status quo. if you believe in jobs and the private sector and the dignity of work than you want to create real opportunity and real
wealth and real economic outlook that stimulates the community, then extend this job program. i hate to be so aggressive. that said, here is a study that came out that basically said exactly what i have just said and what we have been saying. it is from the center of budget and policy priorities. it's a walking away from a win- win-win -- it says walking away from a win-win-win. reduce the cost of government, increases economic growth, and private sector development, and creates opportunity by reducing the burden on the federal government with unemployment benefits. nothing is, to me, more obvious than this, but obvious does not always make the best case for progress in a political environment where there is elections at stake. i want to thank everyone you see behind me for their leadership.
millie activating the small business community because this was a program was started that was "too good to be true." we started with a goal of 1000 people, and they said it could not be done. we got to 1500, and they said we would never get to 2000, so we said we would get to 3000. we went to congress because we realized we had to extend this thing because it was not going to go much further. l.a. county has a huge number of people about to lose their jobs. all the other counties would have hired many times more than we did, but they never believed it. if this gets extended, we can hire. if we got this extended, we would get 10,000 people employed through this program. he says that is not possible, and he will come back and says he wants to give the statistic that only 7400 people or so have been vetted through this. all right, how about 7000?
we have 40,000 people under work, and here we are in this one program we could subsidize from the private sector that once folks for the holidays to promote and market their business? here is the insidious nature -- guess when these folks have no work. when they need that work more than ever, during the holidays. happy holidays. good luck. what does this do? it puts further pressure on those that are looking for jobs because thousands of people are going to start looking for that same worked -- same work. these are families, women, minorities, and i cannot impress more how important this is. so let's get rid of me and the politics of any politician, rather, that is speaking, and let's bring up -- trend will do this in a moment -- bring up some other folks. by the way, not everyone gets paid $447 a week.
i'm just saying that is the average for the transition. folks with a permit are getting paid $19.49 on average. even if you pay at that higher increment, how much more than $450 a week is that? not much, to actually have people employed. we have put together a list. quickly, i will get to this. a list of mayors across the country. we just launched an advocacy effort. these are my friends. they all understand the importance of this, so we just put together an organization around mayors being advocates for this. that is something else we wanted to announce. third, we will hear from a business leader that has gone out of his way because of what is at stake for his business to do an online petition to get
like-minded business leaders across the country to say, open a " you have got to be kidding me. you claim to be pro-small- business, and you're going to let this program expire and but everybody else on the dime of welfare rolls, which we will have to pay. what possibly would you do that, and how could you argue for that?" i get excited about this. >> thank you, mr. mayor. a couple of points about this report -- 250,000 people nationwide hired through this money. close to half are used -- youth, in fact. we started in may. we were one of the first on board. mayor newsom would go to the u.s. conference of mayors, and he would tell the we had this great program. my office kept getting calls.
we have been talking to states and localities all over the country and really, due to the mayor's leadership, this 250,000 no. i think is largely attributed to that. robert miller, who is here, one of our early partners with jobs now, well over 150 employees -- 145 employees through jobs now. he will talk about that, but he will talk about this innovative online campaign he has got going to get this thing extended. robert miller. >> i'm director of veterinary archives, and i want to thank mayor newsom for having the fortitude, the foresight, and the temerity to stay with a program for the very beginning -- since the very beginning. he took a chance on main street. we want to take that chance on government. our first higher was in june 2009, and our last was yesterday, the last day before
the door closed. we believe the program benefits both sides of main street. the employee, giving them a real job doing real work. 145 people that are working for me are building a free, online digital library of 1 million books which will go to every school in america. it gives them pride. it gives them professional confidence, and gives them a job they can go back to their families with and make a difference in their community in terms of funding, financing, and confidence, and if america does not have the confidence to go forward on one side of wall street, how can we make the decisions that we need to? this is not a handout. this is a hand up, as far as i'm concerned. this program is fantastic. as an employer in an uncertain environment, we did not know what 2009 or 2010 would unfold. we did not know whether the economy was going to improve, stay flat, or continue to go down, but based on this
particular program, it gave us the confidence to look at our payroll and make a bet on america, on san francisco, and our employees. we are thrilled at the program. it is the best lending i have ever seen of one side of main street with the other side. we do not want the program to continue forever. we do not want a handout, but we want to ask for one more year to give us the chance to put our risk into reality and jobs into the future of america and san francisco. i want to announce that we have been working very hard with the last week and with business leaders across america targeting 10 key states that have used this program to great success. mississippi, pennsylvania, florida, texas, michigan, and five other states, and we are starting an online campaign to petition signatures in each state, not only from the employee side, but from a
business side. let us create more jobs. let us add to our payroll, payroll taxes, to help us at more to the government, but we need another leg up for another year. help us in his advocacy effort in 2010 and 2011. so, mayor newsom, thank you one more time so much. and i would like to introduce one of the faces of the people who works for me. there is a real sight to this, and it gives me great pleasure to introduce ginger, who works in archives and just celebrated her one-year anniversary with the archives. >> thanks, robert. thanks, mayor newsom. thanks, everyone, for having me here. i am a single mother, and 15 months ago, i was having to make the choice between putting food on our table and putting -- paying our electricity bill. we are one of those families that mayor newsom spoke up.
this job has meant so much to me. i have added skills and accomplishments to my resume over the last year. i'm hoping to build a digital public library that is available to all schools across the nation. i am worried that what am i going to do after these funds run out -- am i going to lose my job? will i go back to where i was 15 months ago? i am also worried about the jobs at risk across the nation. unbacked thank you for having me here. i hope congress listens to us. have a great day. >> keep america working. keep main street working. >> when this program was announced at the federal level in early 2009, the first meeting we had outside the government
walls was with the chamber of commerce, and with us now is the director of public policy both locally and across the state and nation in terms of helping is get this extended period >> thanks, and thank you, mayor, for your leadership on this. i do not have to reiterate how nationally and locally businesses are struggling, the economy is still struggling. we do see that improvements are coming. we see light at the end of the tunnel. part of that light, and i think we all know, is driven by small business, and that is where san francisco's economy is based, backbone of our economy, and nationally. we really depend on those jobs hired by small business. what this program has done for small businesses across the country has but a direct subsidy in to those small businesses that have kept them afloat in this last year, and some, as we just heard, even allowed them to
grow. this is the win-win that we have been looking for through the stimulus. we think it is essential that we continue. we have been working with other chambers across the country come out -- especially in this country, to ask other leaders and individuals who have benefited from the jobs created, benefited by being able to hire employees at a time when otherwise they would not have been able to. they otherwise would not have been able to extend this one more year. it is very important, and we are very proud of the leadership trend has shown and that the mayor has shown. i would like to also speak to one other perspective, and i also serve as the chair of the work force investment board for san francisco where we do our work force training. i cannot think of a better way to train somebody for work than to give them work.
thank you for your support and your effort, and we look forward to continuing the fight. thank you. >> there with us. we have two more speakers. a program that grew as quickly as this that we put on the ground very rapidly, the had the guts and tweaks and shortcomings along the way, but there needs to be support from a wide range of support across the community, and we have with us today a good leader. he is standing behind me. he was extremely helpful. i do not know if he thought he was being held or if my staff thought he was being helpful, but he was gracious enough to spend his time to send out e- mails, to call, to send out programs, and it really helped improve our processes, and it helped approved the ability for small businesses to take advantage of this program, so
really appreciate that from myself and my staff. >> thank you. i was trying to be helpful, so i wanted to clarify that. i am also the founder of small business california new mexico on the board, and i have had the opportunity to speak to small businesses across the state and country about this phenomenal program. most of the businesses i talk to ask why they did not have something like that in their area. but i have also had the opportunity firsthand to use the program. i hired an individual that i needed a claims person. i was shorthanded, and i did not have the wherewithal to hire somebody, and i hired this incredible woman who has come in, and i will continue to
employ her, but just to give you a story, this literally happened just this week. on monday at 3:00 a.m., she had a child. at 11:00, she called my office and said she would be in tomorrow. we told her that that was not necessary. [laughter] but it shows the dedication, and i am also pleased to say we are providing full benefits, so she has her sick leave and medical, but she has done so much for my company. one of the things that is not talked about on this program, obviously, is the benefit to the employer. it is a benefit to the individual, but the other benefit is to employees that work for us. i have a statement from the claims manager in my office, and her comment was hiring someone who is participating in the jobs now program has enabled him to once again provide customers with the service they expect and
deserve prior to the hiring of the bridges of who is just -- of the participant who is just too much work for one person to handle. the impact for the employees was also very positive. without a doubt, this is the best program i have ever seen in san francisco. the welfare to work program a number of years ago -- we created a program there -- was very good, but this one is fantastic. what i'm hearing from small businesses is that they have got good employees. they want to keep the employees, but the financial situation is that they are not going to be able to do it. i talked to dave at a couple of service stations. he hired six people and said five worked out. his given him an opportunity to grow his business, but he has to lay off three employees, and that is a very small number, but it would be tragic to see this program ended. so thank you, mr. mayor.
thank you, trent. >> some of the criticisms of this program nationally are the they are just make work jobs that are not really contributing to the economy or to businesses, that these are jobs subsidized by federal dollars that would have otherwise been filled anyway, so you are not really creating new jobs. the third would be you are replacing people that they do not have skills to work and do not contribute. we did a survey of our employers, and the numbers were unbelievable. over 80% of employers said that they would not have hired these individuals if it were not for the jobs subsidy, creating new jobs. 80% said it actually increased sales, increased revenue in their business because of the additional employees. the third is that the employees had skills. the employees had over 80% increase efficiencies of the businesses in the business owners that we serve it. those numbers debunk those myths that i just spoke of an
really did of the only policy arguments being made on the other side of the aisle. the rest is, as the mayor said, political, but i had a chance to meet firsthand someone who is sort of the real-world example of those statistics. he owns an environmentally friendly car wash, i think is how i will describe it. but he will tell you what he told me, which is how this program really not only help maintain and even save his business, but really helped him to grow. >> i want to thank mayor newsom and trend for their leadership in a program. i am the founder and leader of a small, fast-growing business that provides corporate services to 200-plus premier corporations in the bay area. in the course of business, we help them gain productivity by relieving in areas that they do, which they otherwise spend time
on, and we also employed people from disadvantaged communities around the area. prior to jobs now, we had 30 employees, and we were growing very quickly. we were on a very fast trajectory. like most businesses on main street, the business literally was impacted dramatically overnight. however, despite pending orders, we were -- and we would have had to hold on to cash and maintains that. the jobs now program helped us tremendously. it had enabled us to help us continue to hire and meet demand. we currently have 12 food employees working with us now. now, they are currently
mentoring other employees to follow in their footsteps. we would really like the program to continue because it would allow small business owners like myself the ability to take risk and continue to invest. also, the taxpayers, the best way to rescue the economy is by giving jobs to rescue people on main street. looking at various other progress on by stimulus, from my research, this is by far the most effective way to get people back onto the street, on to the payroll, and i want to again thank mayor newsom and trent for their leadership because that is a type of innovation that as a taxpayer, we see on these issues, which is the kind of innovation that makes america the country it is today. now, mayor newsom: what really caught
my attention was that he did not want to take the risk of hiring additional employees in the hopes that the company would grow. jobs now allowed him to hire additional employees and his revenue has increased significantly. what tom did not say is that his wife had a baby yesterday. i want to thank him for coming out. [applause] i think you still have your hospital wristband on. [laughter] that is it for our speakers. we would be happy to entertain questions. >> how many of the employers will be able to continue hiring? >> that is a great question. we are surveying employers now. over 80% said that the jobs now employees resulted in increased sales and revenue. i think one could assume easily that a lot of tho