Summer Jobs Connect

Summer Jobs Connect is an initiative that builds financial capability for San Francisco youth workforce participants within the Mayor’s Youth Jobs+ program. Summer Jobs Connect supplements a traditional summer youth employment model, integrating strategies that connect bank account access, targeted financial education, and automatic saving into youth employment (ages 14-24). This initiative is a partnership between the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, the Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF) and MyPath, a nonprofit focused on paving economic pathways for low-income youth.

Beginning in 2015, we have facilitated a simplified onsite account opening process for summer employment participants at more than two dozen nonprofit agencies. In partnership with San Francisco Federal Credit Union, we are able to offer youth a unique, high-quality account that is non-custodial and offers checking, savings, and debit card with no overdraft. Nonprofit agency staff are trained to facilitate financial education utilizing the highly successful MyPath Savings model. Youth receive blended in-person and online financial education, set up personal savings goals, and enroll in split direct deposit to save automatically.

Summer Jobs Connect is funded by the Citi Foundation, in partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.

Here are some highlights from the summer of 2015:

  • More than 1,100 youth opened a bank account through this initiative.
  • Approximately 90% of youth in DCYF funded summer employment programs ended up having a bank account.
  • More than 950 youth set savings goals through the completion of a savings contract, and nearly 70% met their goal.
  • Participating youth saved a total of almost $320,000 at San Francisco Federal Credit Union over just a couple of months, an average of $227 saved per youth. Youth saved an additional $40,000 at other partner financial institutions as well, bringing the total saved in San Francisco to $360,000.
  • We conducted a small pilot to test the use of a payroll debit card for some youth, in partnership with Community Financial Resources, a nonprofit financial services organization.
  • The percentage of youth reporting using check cashers dropped from about 50% prior to this initiative, to just 5% at the end of summer 2015.