About Us

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Our Mission

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development's (OEWD) mission is simple – we support the ongoing economic vitality of San Francisco. OEWD provides city-wide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning.

Our Services

OEWD’s programs are responsible for strengthening San Francisco’s many diverse neighborhoods and commercial corridors, creating a business climate where companies can grow and prosper, and ensuring a continually high quality of life for all San Franciscans.
By providing one point of contact for a variety of essential City programs and services, OEWD’s goal is to ensure that San Francisco will always be what it is today: one of the best places on the planet to live, work, and play.

  • Business Attraction and Retention: Attracting and retaining businesses, with an emphasis on key industry clusters.
  • Small Business Assistance: One-stop resource center providing information and resources for start-ups and expanding small businesses
  • Workforce Development: Overall strategic coordination for the City’s workforce system, including implementing job training programs aimed at providing residents (particularly those with multiple barriers to employment) with access to today’s jobs.
  • Joint Development: Managing major public-private development projects to maximize long-term public benefits, including affordable housing, jobs and economic development, and open space.
  • Neighborhood Development: Facilitating the revitalization of commercial corridors in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and creating Community Benefit Districts (CBD) throughout the City.
  • Filming and Production: Promoting San Francisco as a film destination to filmmakers and spurring additional City revenue and jobs by attracting and facilitating film productions.
  • International Trade and Commerce: Increasing international business opportunities in the City, fostering San Francisco’s award-winning Sister City program and attracting and expanding international airlines in partnership with San Francisco International Airport

Director's Biography

 Joaquin Torres has served as the Deputy Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development since 2013.  He has led the Mayor's Invest In Neighborhoods Initiative, leveraging resources across city departments to maximize equitable economic and social impact for the benefit of our communities, small businesses, and neighborhoods commercial corridors, including the revitalization of Central Market and the Tenderloin. 

New programs under his leadership have supported woman entrepreneurs in the Bayview and citywide, business attraction, retention and stabilization, healthy food options for neighborhoods, public space activation and management, merchants impacted by construction and natural disasters, the development and creation of new community benefit and cultural districts, and increased access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs. 

For the past 5 years he has served as the President of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission leading the oversight body as the Authority and City implement a re-envisioning process to rehabilitate over 3400 units of public housing with $750 million in improvements and transferring ownership and management to affordable housing providers to best serve low income communities. 

Prior to his recent appointments, Joaquin served as Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS) under Mayor Edwin M. Lee.  Under former Mayor Gavin Newsom, Joaquin served as the Liaison to the Latino and American Indian communities and to districts nine and eleven.  He is a current participant in the Government Alliance for Racial Equity program and serves as Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.).  Joaquin is a graduate of Stanford University and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.  He lives in the Outer Mission with his wife, Ruibo Qian.