Public Service Internship Program to continue in Marlborough
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Mayor Arthur Vigeant has asked the City Council to continue the formal Public Service Internship Program for deserving college students and high school graduates. The program was inaugurated last year.
In his communication to the council at its Feb. 24 meeting, Vigeant said he welcomed any feedback or questions relative to the program. He also included statements of overwhelming support from participating department heads and their staffs.
The local internship program is designed to provide college students with substantive government sector experience, working with department heads and their staffs.
Vigeant said he received over 20 applicants for 13 available paid internships during the program’s first year. Interns were paid $8 per hour and worked approximately 30 hours per week for eight to 10 weeks.
In anticipation of the mayor’s request, Councilor-at-Large Michael Ossing, who is also the Finance Committee chair, said he spoke with Vigeant and told him he would be able to “find the necessary funding” for the program to continue. Ossing added that he would share that information with the full council at its next meeting, when the formal request will be made.
Among the remarks made by city department personnel was a statement from Public Works Commissioner Ron LaFreniere, whose department had three college interns working with Supervisors Tom Cullen, Chris White and Dave Lavallee.
“As I have said during every Finance Committee review of our budget, the college intern program is one of the most cost beneficial programs run in the city,” LaFreniere noted. “The program is absolutely necessary for our department to maintain the delivery of services we have historically provided over the years.”
The summer intern assigned to Community Development Housing Director Douglas Bushman reviewed legislation concerning public housing, researched and formulated a preventive maintenance policy and other policies and procedures beneficial to the housing department.
“The intern program was an extremely worthwhile program. I was able to undertake important projects in a timelier manner, due to the help provided,” Bushman said in his statement.
Other departments participating in the program include the mayor’s office, City Council/Comptroller, Human Services, Public Library, Council on Aging, Facilities, Conservation, Legal/Procurement, Marlborough Economic Development Corporation, City Clerk and Information Technology Department.
“Once the funding is approved, we intend on advertising this program throughout the city to hopefully grow the applicant pool and allow students to plan ahead,” Vigeant noted to the council.
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