Mayor Todd Gloria, along with regional and local partners committed to investing in equity throughout the region, shared updates from the City’s Back to Work SD initiative and ongoing collaborations focused on supporting the Black community. “Our youth are the present and future of San Diego,” says Mayor Todd Gloria. “We must invest in opportunities to get them plugged into the workforce through internships, skills training and job placement. Thanks to support from all sectors, TechHire, Construction Career Jumpstart and the Black Community Impact Fund are continuing to do just that while prioritizing the underserved and underrepresented communities that need it most.”
Back to Work SD, which was unveiled in April 2021, aims to prioritize an equitable recovery from the impacts of the pandemic throughout the region, while the Black Community Investment Fund (BCIF) supports opportunities for Black San Diegans. At the center of it are two Workforce Partnership programs, TechHire and Construction Career Jumpstart, that provide paid job training with career opportunities in the fields of construction and tech. The collaborations have been made possible by contributions from many partners, including Bank of America and the San Diego Foundation. “The Black Community Investment Fund is an important step in bridging wealth gaps in communities of color, and working towards racial equity not only helps the economy but is the right thing to do,” said Rick Bregman, president, Bank of America San Diego. “Bank of America’s approach to economic growth for disenfranchised populations includes investments workforce development and job reskilling, helping people to establish local long-term careers that pay well. The Black Community Invest Fund–and our partners the San Diego Workforce Development and the San Diego Foundation along with the mayor’s Back to work program–are perfectly aligned with these goals.”
The pandemic and social unrest deepened inequity in many aspects of society, which has heightened awareness of the need to do more intentional investment. The need for reimagining a more equitable region is urgent and this collaboration is evidence of positive change. “Each of our organizations is committed to providing equitable opportunities to improve the quality of life and build generational wealth for Black San Diegans. Our Black Community Investment Fund grants come at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and aligns nicely with Mayor Gloria’s programmatic priorities,” shared Pamela Gray Payton, vice president of impact and partnerships for The San Diego Foundation. “I’m optimistic about our opportunities for impact and collaboration with our community partners who share our values and strive to build generational wealth for Black San Diegans.”
The press conference emphasized the City of San Diego and local partners’ commitments to providing Black San Diegans with pathways towards quality careers through collaborative efforts that increase career opportunities for Black San Diegans. The community leaders were joined by two participants who shared their experiences in two career development programs.