BAVC Media and SF OEWD hold unprecedented symposium on the future of freelance labor

Published On: October 28, 2015 |

San Francisco, CA – Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC Media), Gig Union and, the San Francisco Office of Economic & Workforce Development (SFOEWD) are proud to present WorkShift 2020, a symposium on contract work and the future of labor on Wednesday, April 29 at 3pm at the Kanbar Forum at Exploratorium (Pier 15, The Embarcadero) in San Francisco, California. The event is free and open to the public.

By the year 2020, 40% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers and contractors; a trend that is fast-becoming the norm in San Francisco. WorkShift 2020 brings together national and local government and industry experts for a game-changing conversation about what this shift means for employers, workers, the tech industry, and policy development in the Bay Area and beyond.

Scheduled panelists include:

●      Monika Bauerlein, Co-Editor, Mother Jones

●      Maria Echaveste, Policy and Program Development Director, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, U.C. Berkeley School of Law

●      Marina Gorbis, Executive Director, Institute for the Future

●      Virginia Hamilton, Region 6 Administrator, U.S. Department of Labor

●      Caitlin Pearce, Associate Director, Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Freelancers Union

Ted Egan, Chief Economist for the San Francisco Office of Economic Analysis, and SFOEWD Director Todd Rufo will provide introductory remarks, and Kevin Roose, New York Times-bestselling author and writer for, will moderate.

“Freelancers are the future of work, especially in the tech sector. We are thrilled to be leading the conversation about the biggest change in labor since the Industrial Revolution,” says Mindy Aronoff, BAVC Media’s Director of Training.

“WorkShift 2020 reflects how forward-thinking and impactful BAVC Media’s training programming continues to be 39 years after BAVC Media’s founding. The symposium marks another milestone for Gig Union and for our partnership with the SFOEWD,” adds Carol Varney, BAVC Media’s Executive Director.

“San Francisco’s unemployment is at a 3.6% low. This is a testament of our strong economy and talented workforce including freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Through Gig Union, we are able to provide resources and support for a growing number of independent workers and this symposium is important in helping us to prepare for the future development of this growing workforce,” said Todd Rufo, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

About Gig Union

Part of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s TechSF initiative, Gig Union was created in 2012 with funding from the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund. Gig Union has grown to include over 600 Bay Area freelance workers, project-based employees and entrepreneurs. Services include networking opportunities and workshops on topics as varied as preparing taxes, harnessing data visualization and successfully using GitHub. Last October, Gig Union held a Town Hall where influencers and freelancers engaged in a robust dialogue about the future of contract-based work in the Bay Area, and this year, Gig Union unveiled the “Cheat Sheet” wiki providing freelancers with an open source information hub for a host of issues commonly faced by contract workers.

About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development

The mission of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development is to support

the City's ongoing economic vitality by strengthening its neighborhoods, businesses, commercial corridors and workforce. OEWD works to connect jobseekers with employment opportunities in growing industries by providing industry aligned job training and access to job search assistance at community based neighborhood access points throughout the City. The TechSF initiative is a workforce program of OEWD that offers training in high-growth IT occupations that are currently in demand, including networking, tech support, programming, development, and multimedia, in order to prepare job seekers for entry into dynamic careers in the IT industry. 

BAVC Media

BAVC Media has over 15 years of experience helping dislocated and underemployed workers land jobs in the tech and digital media fields.  TechSF is an initiative led by the SFOEWD that is coordinated by BAVC Media—along with other San Francisco-based key partners such as Zendesk, Jawbone, Salesforce, AT&T, IBM, Autodesk, and City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Academy X, Bayview Hunter’s Point Center for Arts and Technology, Year Up Bay Area, West Ed and Treehouse—to help job seekers, entrepreneurs and freelancers obtain employment in high tech occupations and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the tech sector. Last year, BAVC Media helped to place 50 participants from TechSF in tech-related internships and 200 unemployed and underemployed TechSF participants into full employment. To date, TechSF has placed over 500 individuals into jobs and internships.