Service Area Overview
While San Francisco boasts high rates of school enrollment and/or employment for 18 to 24 year olds (91% in 2015), racial
disparities persist. In 2015, 61% of African American youth were enrolled in school or working, compared to 97% of White and
86% of Chinese youth, respectively. The rate for Hispanic/Latino youth is 97%. African American, Pacific Islanders and Hispanic/
Latino children and youth are also disproportionately involved in the justice system. While estimates of the percent of youth
with disabilities and undocumented youth are not readily available, anecdotal evidence suggests that the school enrollment and
employment rates are much lower for these groups.
Research on youth workforce programming conducted by MDRC, a well-respected social policy research organization, suggests that
the effectiveness of such programming is limited due to “selection bias.” Selection bias describes a pattern of program enrollment
in which the youth that opt into programming are those with already existing motivations or interests in career development. The
research suggests that, in the absence of intervention, these youth would likely have ended up in the workforce and/or a pathway
to a professional career. However, the intent of most YWD programs is to serve youth with higher needs who have less motivation
or interest in developing job skills and engaging in long-term education and career planning. This decreased motivation or interest
has been shown to be linked to an absence of opportunities for exploring diverse career and educational options at an early age.
Research also shows that for specific populations, like disconnected transitional age youth, targeted YWD programming that
addresses participants unique needs are essential to building long-term interest in engaging in educational and career-related
DCYF’s 2016 Community Needs Assessment shows a high demand for YWD services. In 2014, 80% of CBO providers serving youth
ages 14 to 17 and 96% of providers serving youth ages 18 to 24 ranked access to jobs, job training, and internships as one of
the top three desires of youth. When asked directly, disconnected TAY expressed interest in job‐training programs combined with
college degree programs that focus on developing a direct career path to prepare them for an effective launch into adulthood
upon completion. They also felt leadership opportunities that empower youth and build practical skills would help set them on a
DCYF's Youth Workforce Development Service Area Strategies and Initiatives include:
If you have any questions or require additional information about our Youth Workforce Development Service Area, please call 415-554-8990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.