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Latest crew of summer youth interns ready to start work in various city departments

City Hall was teeming with youthful faces as the latest crew of student interns prepared for their summer jobs.

Now in its third year, the Summer Youth Initiative was conceived by Mayor Eddie Moran to provide employment opportunities for the city’s high school age residents.

The intent, the mayor said, is to expose youths to higher education, career paths and the many different professions needed to run a city.

“Within the next few years or decade, hundreds of those currently employed by the city will retire,” Moran said when rolling out the program. “We need to start grooming the next generation that can fill those jobs, whether it’s police officers, firefighters, engineers or public works department and community relations personnel. There are so many different areas within city government where they could fit in.”

More than 50 applicants from Reading and Berks Catholic high schools and virtual and home-school programs were selected. All live within the city.

The students started with a two-day orientation before receiving assignments based on their interests and skill sets.

Some of the more than 50 city summer youth interns take a break from orientation Tuesday. The youths will work in various city departments and with two area nonprofits.(Courtesy of City of Reading.)
Some of the more than 50 city summer youth interns take a break from orientation Tuesday. The youths will work in various city departments and with two area nonprofits. (Courtesy of City of Reading.)

They were then assigned to various city departments and nonprofits, including the Reading Library branches, Public Works Division, Community Development, Human Resource Commission, Reading Area Water Authority, Summer Black Top Basketball Program, Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation and the Daniel Torres Hispanic Center.

The interns will start work this week at 20 hours a week at $15 an hour for eight weeks.

The mission of the program is multifold and intended to create a safe, consistent environment where students can work for the summer; create financial stimulus for the students; and expose them to post-high school education and the many careers needed to keep the city running, Moran said.

While Moran came up with the basic idea for the program, Ken Miller, city training and recruiting coordinator, took the concept to a new level by incorporating four areas of personal and professional development: leadership, financial literacy, academic exposure and professional networking.

Scheduled field trips include visits to the university and colleges within the city, the Reading police and fire academies, RAWA facilities and the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Tours of area businesses with chances to meet local employers also will be provided.

New this year, a roster of guests will speak with the interns about career choices and paths. These include state Sen. Judy Schwank; state Reps. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz and Manny Guzman; city entrepreneurs and business owners; and military service recruiters.

Source: Berkshire mont

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