Attracting Youth to Municipal Public Works
In June, AORS held a Local Association Workshop in conjunction with its summer Board of Directors meeting. One of the topics discussed was the difficulty some municipalities are having in recruiting and retaining qualified staff, in particular for the public works department. Among many recommendations, one of the strategies proposed was to promote municipal public works as a desirable career path to Ontario youth. Regardless of whether a student is planning on attending college or university, or wants to join the workforce right after high school, there are many opportunities in public works that most young people are unaware of.
To help raise awareness, AORS has developed some resources that members can use to promote public works to high school students in their region. The first is a 4-page brochure that highlights why a young person would want to consider a career in public works, including the wide variety of positions that are available, the different levels of education and disciplines of study that would qualify someone for these positions, and the benefits of working for a municipality. A web version of the brochure can be found here, and printed copies can be requested from the office. A poster version is also available that a guidance counsellor or teacher could post on a bulletin board. It could also be posted at your municipal office, a municipal recreation centre, or anywhere high school students or their parents might gather.
The second resource is a PowerPoint slide deck that members can use to promote municipal public works to young people at a career day at a local high school, or as part of a public works event at their municipality. It covers the same topics as the brochure, and includes speaker’s notes. A copy can be downloaded here, and it can be edited to better suit the audience and the particular needs of your municipality. Members are encouraged to look for opportunities to share this information with local high school students, teachers and guidance counsellors.