On August 1, the Southeast Community Facility (SECF) Commission and Supervisor Shamann Walton hosted the second annual Futures Fair, a gathering that introduces local youth to a wide range of career exposure opportunities within the public and private sectors of San Francisco.
The daylong event featured a networking session, interactive informational workshops and a facilitated discussion with a panel of career professionals from throughout San Francisco. The SECF is owned by the City and operated and maintained by the SFPUC for the benefit of the Bayview Hunters Point community.
The fair’s theme this year was “Flourish” and was designed to provide a meaningful and fun experience through workshops that covered financial literacy, social-emotional intelligence, network building, and resources for those interested in skilled labor careers. Participants had an opportunity to eat lunch with a career panel and learn from professionals in a variety of different industries such as city government, construction, nonprofit and tech. Supervisor Walton provided remarks and greetings to the youth and local author Steve Bacon was the keynote speaker for the event.
“The Futures Fair is really about planting seeds and then giving the youth of community some direction on how to nurture their dreams so that their lives can reach their full potential,” said SECF Executive Director Emily Rogers-Pharr. “Our workshops go beyond just finding a job. We look at life holistically. A great career also requires good interpersonal skills and self-awareness.”
Rogers-Pharr, is responsible for the day-to-day operations at the center, including programs, staff, facilities, budget, community engagement and SECF Commission support. She also leads the planning, development and operations of the new community center at 1550 Evans Avenue.
“The Southeast Community Facility is an important piece of history in San Francisco,” said Director Rogers-Pharr. “It is an honor to be a part of that legacy by creating a community center and supporting programs and fostering community partnerships that ensure Bayview is a better place to live, work, learn and play.”
The SECF and its adjacent greenhouses were constructed in partnership with the Bayview-Hunters Point community to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the SFPUC’s Southeast Treatment Plant’s expansion in the 1970s and 1980s.
The facility is overseen by is a seven-member, mayoral-appointed leadership body, which provides guidance to the SFPUC and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regarding strategic, financial and capital improvements at the site.
After an extensive engagement process, the community expressed a preference to build a new SECF at 1550 Evans Avenue, owned by the SFPUC. The new center will include a large, state-of-the-art special events space and multi-purpose space for meetings, events and recreation, such as dance classes and day care services. The center will also provide a range of social services supporting workforce development and education for Southeast residents of all ages.