Reading Mayor Eddie Morán and City staff celebrated the graduation of students from the Summer Youth Employment Initiative Tuesday morning at the Southwest Station of the Reading Fire Department. Each student received a certificate of completion of the program.
52 city students began their part-time employment with the City of Reading over eight week ago as part of Mayor Moran’s 2nd Annual Summer Youth Employment Initiative Program.
The program pairs students with various City departments and affiliated public services such as Public Works, Reading Public Library, Human Relations Commission, Reading Area Water Authority, and the Reading Fire Department.
In addition to exposing the teens to employment opportunities in the public sector, the program also provided students with personal and professional development in leadership, financial literacy, post-secondary academic exposure, and professional networking skills.
Of the portion who recently graduated from Reading High School, many are either going to college or entering the workforce. However, Daniel Velazquez-Torres decided to take a different path, instead submitting his application to work for the city. During the ceremony, Mayor Morán congratulated Velazquez-Torres for being hired by the Public Works Department.
“We started off by cleaning up parks, picking up trash off the streets for a few weeks. Later on, I worked with the Clean City Initiative, cleaning up dumped trash, dead animals stuff like that, just cleaning my city. It was a good experience for my first job out of high school. I’m definitely looking forward to working there.”
Velazquez-Torres said he is excited for the job because he is more interested in working outdoors than in an office environment. “I like to be outside, walking around. I like helping my city too. Cleaning up graffiti, trash, it’s all about making the city look nice” he said.