By Margaux Mennesson, Contributing Writer
“I want to have your job when I grow up.”
When the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike Safety Education instructors hear remarks like this from kids they’re teaching in Portland, it’s both rewarding and exciting. If we plan to meet the growing demand for bike safety programs in schools, we’ll need to hire more teaching staff to teach the curriculum – so we’re glad to hear that kids will want our jobs!
In fact, the BTA is looking specifically to hire new staff just like these kids — or their older brothers, sisters, and neighbors — through a new workforce development program starting this fall. The BTA intends to hire two new Assistant Ambassadors from the same communities where the BTA is teaching, said LeeAnne Fergason, education programs manager at the BTA. Continue reading
By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer
Service providers for homeless youths are making an unprecedented effort to prepare for the summer influx of homeless youth and young adults.
On April 14, the Homeless Youth Oversight Committee, a stakeholder group overseeing Multnomah County’s homeless youth services and programs, met to discuss strategies that will be implemented by the summertime to engage the population.
The group is trying to “be very solution focused,” says Mary Li, Multnomah County’s community services manager.
To date, two initiatives have emerged from the group. Portland Police Lt. Sara Westbrook, a member of the committee, is spearheading the resurrection of an informal program of the Police Bureau that assigned two Central Precinct officers to engage with homeless youth and point them toward services. Westbrook says the program was eliminated a few years ago because of funding cuts. Continue reading