RECREATION INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The Parks, Recreation and Library Department Recreation Internship Program (RIP) developed out of concern for youth employment, especially among disadvantaged youths. Youths applying for entry-level, part-time recreation positions in the summer were not able to compete with the older, more experienced adults applying for the same summer positions.
The RIP interns are enrolled in a 12-week session (fall or spring) and are required to complete 120 hours of training. There are two areas of training. The first is 30 hours of job skills training which covers employability skills, CPR, first aid, basic job skills, general job responsibilities, recreation activities and programming skills. The second area involves 90 hours of practical experience within the specific area of interest at a work site near the internís home.
The program is designed for youths 15-19 years of age. Approximately 45 youths are employed at facilities throughout the city in each RIP session. They are paid the federal minimum wage for all work and training associated with the program.
Two RIP sessions are held each fiscal year in the fall and spring. A Job Training Partnership Act Summer Youth Employment and Training Program is offered in the summer for disadvantaged youths. The program lasts ten weeks and each intern works approximately 250 hours. Recreation interns work and train with mentors on a one-to-one basis. The program focus is education based; therefore, interns cannot be hired to replace regular staffs.
Training includes topics such as job orientation/responsibilities, employability skills, basic programming skills, recreation-related activities, education and social service programming. Also included are presentations by various community agency and department staffs. The summer program offers academic enrichment and basic education classroom-based training. Programmatic examples include self/personal assessment scales, adult basic education examination, computer tutorials and citizenship skills.
Following the orientation the interns contact their assigned mentor to schedule an introduction meeting. The mentors schedule field experiences. Interns are to work an average of ten hours per week, two for training and eight for field experience. During the summer, youths work approximately 20 hours per week at the work site location and five hours per week in academic enrichment and basic education classroom-based training.
The program currently graduates approximately 81 percent of all recreation interns. It is funded through the departmentís Golf Enterprise Fund during the school year and through Jobs Training Partnership Act funds during the summer months.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.