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Public Works & Assets Newsroom

Summer Jobs Put Youth to Work Tackling Neglected Properties

Tuesday August 3, 2010

Over 90 young adults have cleared hundreds of lots while earning a paycheck

More than 90 workers, ranging in age from 18 to 24, have spent nearly a month hard at work for Metro Public Works, through the WorkNow Kentucky summer jobs program.

Since they began work on July 6th, crews have mowed and cleaned more than 630 vacant and abandoned properties city-wide.

“This has been a wonderful partnership,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “These young adults were looking to earn money and gain work experience this summer. We, as a community, have benefitted from their hard-work.”

The WorkNow Kentucky summer jobs program is funded regionally by $3.75 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program dollars through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Abramson requested an additional $360,000 in funding through the Metro Council to allow Metro Government to serve as a partner in the program.

Public Works usually dedicates about 40 workers to target overgrown and abandoned lots during the summer months. With the help of its WorkNow Kentucky workers this summer, the department has been able to triple the number of crews out mowing and cleaning lots community-wide.

The properties being targeted for cleanup have been cited by the city’s Inspections, Permits and Licensing Department. They’ve moved through the legal process and have been released for clean-up by Public Works.

Before crews are sent out into the field, they undergo a safety orientation program. Public Works also provides tools such as weed eaters, blowers, loppers and mechanical grab sticks for use on properties that are overgrown and in disrepair.

The WorkNow Kentucky program will continue into the second week of September. Public Works will continue scheduling crews to cleanup vacant and overgrown lots as well as weed eating and picking up litter on bike trails and areas of overgrowth along streets and sidewalks throughout Louisville.

The program is administered through KentuckianaWorks, the Workforce Investment Board for the Greater Louisville region.