Brunswick’s city manager is hoping to figure out how to attract more people to a public works summer apprenticeship program after only one person applied to fill one of 12 positions.
“I am a little surprised applications have not come in, especially since we reached out to the churches, nonprofits and schools seeking potential applicants,” said Brunswick City Manager Jim Drumm.
The summer work program is designed to assist first-stage job seekers, ages 17-20, in developing their employment skills and in pursuing their education and career goals.
The minimum wage summer positions include a wide variety of duties in the maintenance and construction of city roads and landscaping.
Drainage and stormwater maintenance are also part of the program as well as maintaining parks and squares.
Drumm said he did not think the nature of the work was preventing people from applying.
“We understand that not everyone is going to college, technical school, or the military after high school, and we want to introduce those students to learning new work skills and make it known to them the possibilities of working in local government service,” Drumm said.
The summer jobs are training positions, do not replace potential full-time workers and would provide more workers during the peak summer season.
“We have a lot of parks to maintain and grass to cut on roadways,” Drumm said.
He is not ready to throw in the towel on the program and will seek a more formal partnership with the Glynn County Board of Education during the next school year, with hopes the partnership will garner more response.
“I hope to meet with our new school superintendent to discuss this type of program and to see if it could be expanded to cover other large employers in Glynn County,” Drumm said.
The city has 40 public works employees including administration and mechanics. The one person who applied was hired.
Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker, whose district includes the city and who heads the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Glynn County, said he would like to partner with the city through his nonprofit, which also has a workforce development component.
“We certainly could have helped them recruit more than one person,” Booker said.
He said targeting specific groups and explaining the program thoroughly should help in the future.
“From my experience working with workforce development programs, you have to do outreach and network with groups who deal with the targeted participants and explain what the program is about,” he said