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Youth workers sought for City of Natchez

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez will soon be looking for a few extra pairs of working hands this summer.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation awarded the city a $37,000 grant through its Urban Youth Corps program to hire five young individuals to work a summer job at Natchez Public Works.

Community Development Director James Johnston said the summer workers will be working mostly outdoor doing landscaping, upgrading the Duncan Park walking trail and other projects.

The city is partnering with Alcorn State University, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Mississippi State University Extension Service, American Medical Response and Britton & Koontz Bank for the summer work program, Johnston said.

Each of the different entities will provide basic life skills training, Johnston said. For example, he said, AMR will conduct CPR training and B&K will provide financial education.

The Urban Youth Corps program total cost is approximately $44,000 and requires a 20-percent match from the city, Johnston said. The city, he said, will use in-kind services through equipment usage and staff time of public works and the other agencies.

Applications for the summer positions will be available, Johnston said, after the Natchez Board of Aldermen approves the memorandum of understanding for the program from MDOT.

Program participants must be 16-25 and will work 40 hours each week for $7.75 an hour, Johnston said

Mayor Butch Brown said the summer work program will be beneficial for both the city and the program participants.

“We will try to make sure they learn something as they go, if it’s just a work ethic,” he said. “But certainly we think they’ll pick up more than just a work ethic. They might find an interest level they could use later in life, and maybe even work for the city later.”