Public Works trainee program increases diversity, serves as new hiring pipeline

The Public Works Department created a new hiring pipeline that is increasing the diversity of its employees. The Public Works Service Worker 1 Trainee Program is helping the department change the face of its workforce to better reflect the community it serves.

The trainee program offers adults 18 and older a chance at on-the-job training to meet the qualifications for the Public Works service worker 1 position. Trainees perform manual labor to support construction and maintenance work while also learning the fundamentals of the construction industry and how to drive and operate Public Works equipment. Through the course of the x-month program, they earn their Class B commercial driver’s licenses.

The first class of graduates in the trainee program included 64 percent employees of color and 21 percent women. All have now been hired in the role of Public Works service worker 1 for the City.

Spread the word: New trainee program begins soon

Public Works is hiring throughout October for the next trainee program. Applications are also open throughout October for several other job openings:

Please help spread the word about these opportunities with folks in your network. Share this flyer, and encourage prospective applicants to attend one of several information sessions in October. Attendees can talk to Public Works representatives and apply for a position on the spot; computers will be available. Applicants should apply online at

Information sessions

Noon-2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4
Minneapolis South Workforce Center
777 E. Lake St.

1-3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5
1834 Emerson Ave. N.

10 a.m.-noon, Friday, Oct. 7
Public Works Hiawatha Facility
1901 E. 26th St.

2-4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Ave. N.

10 a.m.-noon, Friday, Oct. 14
Goodwill Easter Seals
553 Fairview Ave. N., Saint Paul

3-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17
310 E. 38th St.

3-5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19
Summit Academy OIC
935 Olson Memorial Hwy.

4-6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 20
2001 Plymouth Ave. N.

2-4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21
American Indian OIC
1845 E. Franklin Ave.

10 a.m.-noon, Monday, Oct. 24
Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall

2-4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24
Sumner Library
611 Van White Memorial Blvd.

2-4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25
Currie Maintenance Facility
1200 Currie Ave.

A program graduate shares her thoughts

Lynette Douglas-Coleman graduated from the trainee program and now works as a Public Works service worker 1 for the City. She shared her thoughts on the experience and working for the City .

Q. How did the Public Works Service Worker 1 Trainee Program help you?
A. “Being able to come to a job that I love every day is a dream come true. Starting a new career 10 days before you turn 50 can be scary. It hasn't been at all. (Age ain't nothing but a number.) I look forward to what the future brings.”

Q. Would you recommend the program to others?
A. Absolutely, and I have, especially to the young ones, male and female. Gender is not an issue if you can do the job. They can start and end their career with the City. You have a livelihood that can support your family and still be home for dinner.”

Q. Tell me about your experience in the Public Works Service Worker 1 Trainee Program?
A. “It has been an exciting challenge. We learned the infrastructure of the city and have been cross trained accordingly. Working in a tunnel 100-feet down all winter was a surreal experience in itself.”

Q. What do you enjoy about your new job?
A. “I love the versatility of my job. With the cross training and rotations, we have no time to get bored. Our duties can change from day to day.”

Q. What do you enjoy about working for the City?
A. “I have gained a new sense of respect and appreciation for the city I grew up in. Taking care of it gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. You think you know your city until you start working for it. We save the city on a daily basis.”

Published Sep 21, 2016



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