SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Mayor London Breed on Friday announced a new $28 million economic recovery program that focuses on workforce development and job training to address employment inequities in San Francisco in the wake of COVID-19.

The Building Back Stronger program draws funding from the city’s Dream Keeper Initiative and aims to expand services for workers and jobseekers while bolstering San Francisco’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release issued by the mayor’s office.

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The $28 million investment into workforce programs has been in the planning stage for the past two years and will feature expanded opportunities in job development, paid training, job placement and employment services for San Franciscan residents, especially for those who face obstacles to employment.

Officials followed recommendations from the city’s Economic Recovery Task Force “to develop a coordinated, comprehensive workforce development strategy and provide culturally-competent, accessible job training and career connections for job seekers and those who have lost work due to the pandemic.”

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The funding intends to addresses the needs of job seekers and dislocated workers impacted by COVID-19 while paving the way for a more equitable economy in San Francisco, officials said. Associated programs will help prepare residents for in-demand jobs that will emerge during San Francisco’s economic recovery, including employment in tech, health care and construction sectors, in addition to rising industry sectors like advanced manufacturing, cannabis and transportation.

“With this funding, we’re addressing the immediate needs caused by COVID-19, with job placement and training for people who are unemployed, and we’re making longer-term investments so that our residents are prepared with the skills they need to fully participate in San Francisco’s recovery,” Mayor Breed said in the release.

Despite a drop in recent years, the unemployment rate for Black San Francisco residents remains approximately three times the citywide average. As part of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative, $6 million of the funding for the programs will go towards paid training and supportive services to address this disparity.

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More details on the programs are outlined in the press release issued by Mayor Breed’s office.