After a year of business closings and slowdowns, San Jose’s partial recovery has left a lot of young people behind and local politicians say they get it.
"We know the divide has widened between those who prosper and those who struggle,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
On Monday, the city launched the Resilience Corps, a network of nonprofits and city departments banding together to help young adults find jobs in a time of recession, and pandemic.
"Our youth are in the battle of their lives,” said Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco. “They're reeling from generations of underinvestment, consequences of redlining, the challenges of a digital divide."
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All hard to fix in a down economy.
"There's just not as many people working because you can't go in and order, and there's less business overall,” said Keziah Kirkpatrick of San Jose.
Initially, the goal will be to pair young adults with jobs that are focused on addressing two major issues – the pandemic and climate change.
Most importantly, they say the jobs will offer a living wage, with health benefits to candidates in the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
"The good news is, we have many young adults in our city who are ready to serve, ready to work, and they don't need handouts, they need a paycheck,” said Liccardo.
The city says the initial funding should cover about 500 jobs, with the hope of raising more money and hiring more young people in the near future.