For the first time some part-time city jobs will be shifted out of the Department of Recreation to a new anti-litter program called “Stop the Drop,” which will pair summer workers with employees from the Department of Public Works for litter patrol, curb painting, and weed and graffiti removal, Fulop explained. He said the objective of the program is to use experiential learning to promote a better understanding of the city’s litter problem and city maintenance.
Fulop, who takes office on July 1, campaigned on a platform of increasing the number of part-time summer positions as a way to reduce youth-related crime and to provide city youth with valuable work experience.
The need for more recreational activities and vocational training opportunities for Jersey City teens was a major issue raised during the recent municipal election. And need for more constructive outlets for youth has been raised at four town hall meetings Fulop and his transition team have held throughout the city this month. Such quality of life concerns as dirty streets and graffiti have also been flagged as major concerns among residents.
“My goal is to get more youth off Jersey City streets during the summer and involved in productive activities,” Fulop said. “The teenagers will earn money and learn the value of hard work, while staying away from the activities that can get them into trouble.”
This jobs program will be expanded without any additional cost to city taxpayers by changing the number of hours to 15 from 20, Fulop said. The hourly wage will remain at $7.50.
The 125 new positions added to the program this year will include 26 recreation pool attendants, 15 recreation park aides, four concession stand staffers, and 80 “Stop the Drop” staffers.
Fulop said his administration has already begun working on a plan to employ as many as 1,000 teens next summer. The expanded 2014 summer jobs program will, Fulop said, work in conjunction with a year-round afterschool program run by the Board of Education.
At the June 17 City Council caucus meeting At-large Councilwoman Viola Richardson questioned why a number of teens who applied for summer jobs this year have still yet to be notified as to whether or not they’ve been hired.
Fulop told the Reporter Thursday that applicants should be notified by next week.