Thursday, July 10, 2008

CityBuild Academy Graduation



Early Wednesday evening in City Hall's South Light Court, there was a graduation ceremony for 31 people who had successfully completed a 14-week boot camp educational program called CityBuild Academy.



San Francisco Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, along the with the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Developoment, started the program three years ago as a way to funnel disadvantaged San Francisco residents into well-paying union construction jobs. Maxwell gave an inspiring speech about the fact that she'd been an electrician herself for over 15 years before starting her own contracting business and then running for office.



Guillermo Rodriguez, the Director of the program, played emcee for the ceremony that included short speeches from a number of dignitaries...



...that included Don Griffin, the interim Chancellor of City College, whose campus at Third and Evans hosts the Academy...



...and Michael Brown, the senior field rep for Carpenters Union Local 22, who announced that the vast majority of the graduates had already been offered jobs and placement in union apprenticeship programs.



The real moment of joy came when the individual graduates came to the podium to receive their framed diplomas...



...and they were the most amazing mixture of ages and races...



...who were all rooting each other on in excitement.



Crystal Allan, above, was beyond exuberant, particularly when she won a $600 scholarship from the National Association of Women in Construction...



...which in a nice gesture of gender blindness, also gave a $600 scholarship to Jose Canales, above.



When I asked the sponsoring ladies above, who all worked in the building trades, what had happened to Mayor Gavin Newsom who was scheduled to speak, they replied, "He flitted in and out at the very beginning, but it doesn't matter, we're way more important, aren't we?" I assured them that indeed they were.

3 comments:

namastenancy said...

OH BRAVO! I am always glad to read about these types of programs. May these people have all the success that they deserve for their hard work and dedication.

janinsanfran said...

That is way cool.

markley said...

What moving photos and a wonderful essay, Mike.