SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/– Whether you’re on the hunt for a job, looking to start a small business or just trying to get your finances in order, it’s a tough economic climate nationwide—and it’s especially challenging for members of the LGBT community, who face even steeper barriers in employment and overall financial well-being.
The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center’s Economic Development Department (SF Center), in partnership with New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (NY Center), aims to change that, and to jumpstart prosperity for the LGBT community with its annual, bicoastal Economic Empowerment Week & LGBT Career Fair, launching this year on Sept. 30 and running through Oct. 5.
This series of bicoastal events will showcase the breadth of opportunities available to the LGBT community and its supporters to increase their financial security and become empowered economically. The events will include industry insider panels and workshops that offer financial education and credit-building tips and strategies, job-search support, job placement—and much more. Last year’s bicoastal event brought in more than 1,600 attendees, with 60 employers and 35 community partners participating.
Established in 2004, SF Center’s Economic Development Department is the first initiative in the nation to comprehensively address the economic barriers faced by low- and moderate-income LGBT individuals and families. The Center also created the first program for transgender job seekers and the first and only program offering free income-tax preparation for same-sex married couples. The results have been impressive. Every year, the SF Center:
- Helps more than 1,000 people get connected to jobs and employment services
- Partners with more than 50 employers for recruiting and empowerment events
- Provides technical assistance to 100 entrepreneurs and small businesses
- Educates and assists 150 families to obtain resources to purchase their first home
- Increases the credit scores of 50 people through our lending-circle program (which has an average credit score increase of 168 points)
“The myth that all gay people are affluent needs to be debunked,” said Eugénie FitzGerald, director of economic development at the SF LGBT Center. “Our LGBT community is diverse in every way, but reputable studies consistently demonstrate that LGBT people are more likely to be poor than our straight counterparts. LGBT people have long faced discrimination in employment, education, health care and economic supports, and those who face additional barriers, such as racism or ableism, are the most economically vulnerable. We are the first group in the country to design and implement solutions to LGBT poverty, and we are thrilled to showcase this innovation throughout Economic Empowerment Week and beyond.”
In 2005, the New York LGBT Community Center also began helping the community connect with employers and companies through their LGBT Career Fair. The Fair, supported by corporations, neighborhood businesses, community groups, LGBTQ student associations and business chambers, pointed a spotlight on the employability of the NYC LGBT community. The Fair has grown substantially every year, with the 2013 event showcasing more than 30 companies, welcoming more than 800 job seekers and offering professional workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities.
“The LGBT Community Center in New York City is proud to partner with the San Francisco Center on this critical employment effort,” said Kristen Kentner, corporate relations officer at the NY Center. “There is no topic more important to the nation than the employability and financial security of every American. It is our privilege to contribute, in every way possible, in getting LGBT people jobs where they can start out and be out.”
In San Francisco, events will begin on Oct. 1 with Jumpstart Prosperity – a kickoff mixer at the SF LGBT Center. The 30th LGBT Career Fair, supported by many local partners, will be on Oct. 2 in San Francisco. In New York, events will begin Sept. 30 with their LGBT Career Fair and multiple workshops on everything from career support to financial health.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our 30th LGBT Career Fair at the SF Center! There will be over 45 companies at the event including Apple, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Starbucks, Macy’s, Kimpton, Prudential, Nielsen and many more—all committed to hiring qualified LGBT candidates,” said Clair Farley, manager of employment services at the SF Center.
About the SF LGBT Center:
The Center is a welcoming place for our diverse LGBT community and its supporters to find innovative services and fabulous cultural programs that lead to a stronger, healthier community and a more welcoming and equitable world. Its safety net programs serve the most vulnerable members of our community and provide a welcoming home for all LGBT and allied people. Each month, the Center serves over 9,000 visitors and hosts more than 200 events. The Center is located at 1800 Market Street in San Francisco. Learn more about the Center at www.sfcenter.org.
About the NYC LGBT Center:
Established in 1983, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center is at the heart of the LGBT community in New York City, providing quality health and wellness programs in a welcoming space that fosters connections and celebrates our cultural contributions. We strive to serve the LGBT community with a full-service, multi-faceted approach to programming, from hosting arts and entertainment events, advocacy groups and family gatherings to offering youth, recovery and overall wellness programs. Each year, the Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to our building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who engage in our life-changing and life-saving activities. We are proud to be your community Center. To learn more about our work, please visit www.gaycenter.org.
Director of Economic Development
San Francisco LGBT Center
t: 415-865-5515 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Employment Services
San Francisco LGBT Center
t: 415-965-5632 | e: email@example.com
Director of Institutional Giving
New York LGBT Community Center
t: 646-358-1721 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York LGBT Community Center
t: 646.358.1714 | email@example.com
SOURCE San Francisco LGBT Community Center