Finding a marketing expert to employ was no problem. The challenge for the boutique creative agency located in the Mission was finding the money to make the hire.

Enter Jobs Now!, a city program funded by the stimulus to subsidize employment.

“We found someone who had been laid off from a very successful company,” said Sir Less, the chief executive officer of Integrated Alchemy Media Inc. on 24th Street.

The new employee, Less said, has helped the company go to the next level.

Jobs Now! has surpassed its initial goal of placing 1,000 San Francisco locals in jobs between May 2009 and September 2010 by 138 placements. The program subsidizes 100 percent of employee’s wages and Bay Area companies are invited to participate as long as they hire un- or underemployed San Francisco residents who have a dependent child.

So far 117 employees from the Mission have benefited from the jobs program.

“When you put a person of that caliber to work, it generates more work,” said Less. Because of the new employee, his company has been able to get more projects and hire more contractors. Less said that his company has grown and when the program is over, they won’t need government subsidies to pay their new expert’s salary.

Michelle Singletary, a 26-year-old single mother, was laid off from Levis six months ago and recently found work through Jobs Now. “With this program you start working immediately. I applied and the next week I had a job,” Singletary said.

Singletary was placed in Laundry Locker Inc., a company based at 1530 Custer Ave. that provides door-to-door dry cleaning services throughout San Francisco. Arik Levy, the CEO of this company said that through Jobs Now they were able to hire two drivers, two operations workers and one sales manager. “We are growing since we started the program,” Levy said.

The company is doing much more than it used to before. “A year from now, we think we can definitely keep them when the subsidy runs out,” said Levy about his new employees.

Although the salary is subsidized with Jobs Now!, the employer is responsible for regular payroll taxes including FICA, SUI, SDI and worker’s compensation insurance. Despite of these employer expenses, Levy said the program “has been fantastic for us.” And Less said, “it is great what the program does, use the stimulus money to put people to work.”

Since the program started in May, 3,777 eligible employees have applied and 1,138 have been placed in jobs, according to the last report.

Roxana Vasquez-Morales, business account representative at the One Stop Career Link Center in the Mission said, “We try to match the clients with a job.” There isn’t a match for everyone immediately. Some applicants are waiting but the program will continue until next year and they are still taking applications.

Interested employers and employees click here for more information.

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Veronica Moscoso

Veronica Moscoso, is an Ecuadorian storyteller who narrates through radio, video, and short stories. She lived in the Middle East, South East Asia and now in California.

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