HPS Facilities Department and Center for Latinos Progress Offers Summer Youth Internship

HPS Facilities Department and Center for Latinos Progress Offers Summer Youth Internship

For 10 years, in collaboration with Local 566 and the Center for Latinos Progress, the Hartford Public Schools Summer Youth Internship program has been offering summer jobs to Hartford Public Schools students in our custodial department. The 2022 program began on July 1st, 2022.

Ninety percent of the summer program slots are for Hartford-resident students. Ten percent of the summer program slots are open suburban-Hartford Residents for our students who may attend magnet schools and live in suburban towns. There are many Hartford Public Schools students who don’t live in the city, but want to give back to the Hartford community.

This year we had approximately 35 students participate in the program, although some started late. Our youth complete task objectives varying from custodial work, grounds work, and deliveries.  The students get full on-the-job experience, but are limited from the use of custodial and grounds machinery.  We do not allow our youth interns to use any machinery during this program.  They assisted in getting all of our summer school facilities ready for early start, and aided in the completion of summer cleaning district-wide for the first day of school.

There are several youth interns who have applied to become sub-custodians who are graduating Hartford students, and are currently going through the interview process.

This program is offered every Summer and now Spring. The spring program will start in January of 2023.  The spring program only accepts Hartford Students who are Juniors and Seniors in High School.

States program founder, AFSCME Local 818 Union Member and Facilities Evening Custodial Supervisor, Michael Cruz, “I have been running this program for almost 10 years now. This opportunity allows our inner-city students to steer away from the negative influences that are associated within our Hartford Community.  In addition this program keeps them on a positive course to complete their education, and progress to college or future job opportunities.  I’m hoping to broaden the program for next year by adding the Blue Hills site to work in partnership with the Facilities Department, and Local 566 next year for our North End Students.  I would love to physically go out and promote this program to our wonderful Hartford students next year in all of our high schools. I’m gratified to see it slowly expanding to something inspirational for our community. In addition, I’m so proud of our facilities staff for working side-by-side with our students.  The service being provided to these youth interns is a life changing experience for them and their families.  This touches a deep place in my heart for the Hartford Public Schools and the community.”

(Some Hartford graduates may still continue to work until the second week of September to support for the first couple weeks of school until hours run out with the program.)

For more information about the HPS Facilities Department Summer Youth Internship Program, please contact Michael Cruz at Michael.Cruz@hartfordschools.org.