City of Greensburg launches program to engage students

GREENSBURG, PA (December 5) The City of Greensburg is pleased to announce that it will be including area students in its operation. The inclusion of students is part of the recently adopted Student Planner Program (SP2) which designed create experiential learning environments across City departments. “This program provides a perfect opportunity to get our talented students involved in the everyday operations of city government “said Mayor Robb Bell.

Beginning this fall, the City will start accepting applications from students attending area universities such as, Seton Hill University, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and Westmorland Community College. Students will be challenged to become part of project teams, led by city staff that are focused on advancing specific initiatives across the City. “We even encourage high school students to apply if they are interested in better understanding how government works” stated Dr. Jeff Raykes, Planning Director for City of Greensburg.

As team members, participating students will be asked to develop project specific work plans designed to assist full-time staff with background data collection, public outreach, project management, and the funding strategy development. “Our student planners will play an important role in building our capacity to serve the City’s residents” said Kelsye Milliron, City Administrator.

Building on strong connections between these institutions and City government, Raykes has begun presenting the program to interested students, faculty, and administrators with the goal of growing interest. “The Student Planner Program is an excellent way to not only connect students to the City but also an excellent way to highlight the valuable contributions of students in our community” stated Raykes.

SP2 is modeled after a similar program Raykes built while working as a professional planner in Indiana, PA. That highly successful program graduated more than 95 planners since its inception in 2009 and won awards from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Part of the success of the Program has been its impressive post-graduation placement numbers. “Nearly 9 out of 10 of our student planners were either working in the field or enrolled in top-flight graduate program within one year of graduation.” stated Raykes. Driving this success has been a combination of ongoing professional development activities built into the program, such as resume/interview workshops, field trips, and the opportunity to develop highly-marketable work portfolios built around real project experience. This combination has translated into jobs and additional education opportunities for students in an increasingly competitive employment landscape. With the adoption of its own Student Planner Program, the City hopes to replicate its success in Greensburg.

For more information please contact to Jeff Raykes (724) 838-4335 or email jraykes@greensburgpa.org.

Comments
  • George O'Brien
    Reply

    Another perfect example of how great our leadership base is….

    Keep up the great work Mayor Bell, Jeff, Kelsey and team!

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