"The discussion around our future, and renewing San Jose’s promise of opportunity, must begin with our children. We can give every child the chance they deserve by leveraging our libraries, leadership, linkages, and learning."
Mayor Sam Liccardo encouraged the San José Public Library system (SJPL) to reimagine how it served job seekers. With SJPL Works, the San José Public Library has created an extensive network of resources for employment seekers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs by uniting the area's top leaders in economic and workforce development. Through a partnership with Robert Half Associates, Library SJPL Works offers online training programs in areas related to IT, finance, systems administration, computer programming, and accounting. The business center on the third floor of King Library features collaborative workspaces with technology and productivity tools, meeting spaces with videoconferencing, specialized collections and classes, and much more. With these new tools and the Library as an invigorated resource for job seekers, we hope to reduce Silicon Valley’s “skills gap” and give more residents a pathway towards a secure future. Learn more about the space.
In 2015, Mayor Liccardo launched SJ Learns, a high-quality after-school learning program that provides educational enrichment and a supportive, safe place for K-3 students to spend their afternoons after the school bell rings. In its first year, the program has engaged 650 students in 16 schools serving disadvantaged neighborhoods. In addition, the City will work with participating schools and non-profit providers to identify the most promising, innovative learning methods and scale them for broader impact.
In 2014, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Shortly after, Mayor Sam Liccardo joined Dr. Emmett Carson, CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to kick off the program in San José focused on four of the national campaign’s main pillars: to get young men healthy and ready to learn at school; to have boys reading at grade level by third grade; to have young men ready for careers and college at graduation; and to decrease the youth involved in crime. A final report that will guide the coalition's work will come out in late 2016. Read the local MBK action plan.
After restoring library hours to six days a week during his first year, Mayor Liccardo has sought to re-imagine how the City's public libraries serve our residents. For example, he has been involved in efforts to launch innovative early learning programs, “coding camps,” maker spaces, on-line classes, and hundreds of other science and technology workshops for the thousands of kids who visit a library each year. He has also advocated for transforming every city library computer into a career training center to help job-seekers learn English as a Second Language, accounting or coding. Learn more by visiting the San José Public Library website.
In early 2017, Mayor Sam Liccardo joined several local leaders and community college presidents to announce San José Promise, a collaborative, city-wide campaign to ensure that community college is affordable and accessible for all San José high school students. San José Promise has three core elements: College Readiness Programs, College Promise Scholarships, and College Pathways Partnerships. In conjunction with the launch, San Jose City College and Evergreen Valley College announced a significant expansion of College Promise scholarships that, when leveraged with other sources of financial aid, will ensure up to two years of free community college for approximately 500 qualifying students next school year alone. The College Promise scholarships will be focused on low-income, first-generation, and historically underrepresented students. Learn more about the SJ Promise Initiative.