Groundbreaking Construction Training Program Provides Job Opportunities to SF's Most Disadvantaged Residents

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Press Contact: Gloria Chan, (415) 554-6926,


San Francisco, CA—Today, Mayor Mark Farrell, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), and community and labor partners celebrated the expansion of the Mayor’s Gleneagles Academy, a collaborative effort to link to local residents in Visitacion Valley with hands-on job training programs.

“Our city is stronger when local residents have access to well-paying union jobs,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “We are proud to work with our community and labor partners to ensure that our next generation of San Franciscans’ have the economic opportunities to lead our city into the future.”

In January, OEWD’s CityBuild Program launched the newest iteration of Gleneagles Academy training program in Visitacion Valley. The program enrolled 10 participants from programs targeting the most vulnerable populations in the City, including participants at risk of violence, residents of public housing and recipients of public benefits. The program opens doors to new jobs in the city’s construction industry.

The eight week training program, now nearing completion, provides hands-on construction training in partnership with the Northern California Laborers Training Center, with supportive services from Young Community Developers and Arriba Juntos. The current training cycle is also supported by the San Francisco Adult Probation Department (SFAPD), who is sponsoring Gleneagles training opportunities for four participants in the Interrupt, Predict, and Organize (IPO) violence prevention program.

“Workforce programs like the Gleneagles Academy are critical to advancing shared prosperity for all San Franciscans,” said Todd Rufo, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Breaking down barriers to employment for disadvantaged residents and placing them in union career paths helps build a stronger, more equitable San Francisco.”

“IPO is a tremendous effort that presents life changing employment opportunities in communities highly impacted by crime and violence, and is an important part of San Francisco’s comprehensive public safety plan,” said Karen L. Fletcher, Chief Adult Probation Officer. “The SFAPD is honored to be a part of this collaborative and is committed to being an active partner that helps to advance participant and program successes.”

Participants are receiving 320 hours of hands-on training with tools and classroom instruction at Gleneagles’ Mario De La Torre Learning Center. Upon completion, the graduates will be eligible for direct entry into union construction apprenticeships and placements with construction contractors through CityBuild and its labor partners.

“The Laborers and local unions are excited to participate once again with San Francisco native Mayor Mark Farrell, who knows from growing up here that creating workforce development and career pathways creates civic pride and takes a heartfelt commitment that we all have,” said Vince Courtney Jr. Laborers’ Union Local 261. “We have a responsibility to San Franciscans to make sure that those who come after us also have opportunity to live, succeed, and lead in the local communities and neighborhoods we grew up in.”

Laborers Union Local 261 was the first union signed on to offer graduates the opportunity to work in construction and construction-related trades such as landscaping. Funding for the Gleneagles Academy program has been provided by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Job Training and Opportunities Program, with support from the Department of Public Works, Recreation and Parks Department, Human Services Agency, Department of Human Resources, and the Street Violence Intervention Program.

The late Mayor Edwin M. Lee established the Gleneagles Academy in June 2015 as a first-in-the-nation effort to utilize public open space to train neighboring public housing residents for work in park maintenance and landscaping.

About CityBuild Academy

CityBuild Academy is led by OEWD and has successfully trained more than 1,000 individuals and placed them in more than 1,500 jobs within various trades as laborers, carpenters, cement masons, electricians, plumbers, painters, ironworkers and many more. Over the past 11 years, CityBuild has evolved into a network of trainings, employment services and policy administration, with trainees representing neighborhoods from across the City including Bayview Hunters Point, Visitation Valley, Mission, Excelsior, Ingleside, Bernal Heights and Western Addition.


About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD)

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) advances shared prosperity for San Franciscans by growing sustainable jobs, supporting businesses of all sizes, creating great places to live and work, and helping everyone achieve economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit




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