City Announces Special Summer Hires for “Operation Youth Clean-Up”

April 17, 2014

Chelsea Record

The City announced the creation of nine special summer positions to augment the annual Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI) program that is stewarded by the Chelsea Collaborative and funded by the Commonwealth.  Each year, approximately two dozen of the more than 200 youths selected for the SYEI program work with Chelsea’s Department of Public Works.

City Council President Matt Frank highlighted the importance of the Summer Youth Employment Initiative and Operation Youth Clean-Up by saying, “The young people of Chelsea are an asset that we shouldn’t leave unchallenged, unmentored, or unskilled. Providing opportunities to develop job skills, learn responsibility, and establish a sense of pride in work – this is a good investment in our youth and our community.”

The City is seeking eight college students, each of whom will manage crews of three youths, aged 16-20, in performing public works tasks in one of the city’s eight districts. The eight Works Crew Managers, in turn, will be directed by a Works Project Director.

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Four days per week for six weeks, state-funded SYEI youth interns will be engaged doing things such as cataloging graffiti sites, cleaning unkempt parcels, landscaping, painting, and other beautification projects. On the “Fifth Day”, the youths participate in activities led by the Chelsea Collaborative designed to expand their horizons, build character, foster healthy life choices, and provide recreational opportunities. Works Crew Managers and the Works Crew Director will work approximately seven to eight weeks beginning in the latter half of June.

In the past,“ said City Manager Jay Ash, “the 20-plus DPW youth interns worked in one big group, directed by a lone city employee. We believe we can improve the experience for both the youths participating in the SYEI program and for the City as an employer. In doing so, we’re also creating summer income opportunities for nine Chelsea residents.”

Luis Prado, Director of Health & Human Services, added, “The State funding for the SYEI program dictates that employers provide a meaningful and enriching experience for the youths through a commitment to providing new job skills along with strong adult supervision and mentoring.  The City’s investment in these nine supervisory roles will enable us to better deliver on that.”

From the Public Works view, this will also help the summer DPW workers be more equitably deployed throughout the city at one time.  “With one team assigned to each district,” said Public Works Director Joe Foti, “no area of the city will be excluded.  So, we have that focus, while at the same time, we retain the flexibility to bring the whole group together for occasional bigger projects if need be.”

The application deadline for the eight Works Crew Manager positions and the Works Project Director position is Friday, May 16th and each position requires Chelsea residency.  The job descriptions can be viewed by going to the City’s homepage at www.chelseama.gov and clicking “Employment Opportunities” on the left side menu bar.