Archive for Monday, August 24, 1998

WORK-STUDY PROGRAM OPENS CITY JOBS FOR HINU STUDENTS

August 24, 1998

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Among the part-time responsibilities are entering police reports into computers and overseeing programs at city recreation centers.

Cindi Johnico isn't flipping burgers, clearing tables or selling aluminum siding this school year.

Instead, the sophomore at Haskell Indian Nations University is devising a new filing system for the city's personnel records, studying demographic trends among more than 2,000 applicants for city jobs and researching how other cities recognize employees for jobs well done.

``It's kind of like a big term paper, but I'm getting paid for it,'' said Johnico, a part-time clerk in the administrative services department at city hall.

And more. Johnico, an education major, is helping create a new program to encourage Haskell students to work at city hall, through a federal work-study program.

With Johnico's assistance, officials are willing to put as many as 17 Haskell students on the municipal payroll. Among the part-time responsibilities available: entering police reports into computers, overseeing programs at city recreation centers, researching special projects at the Lawrence Public Library and reviewing water, sewer, trash and drainage bills.

There's even a position open in the city manager's office, to help the city's communications coordinator get the city's message out.

``It's a great opportunity to help mentor and have interaction with Haskell students,'' City Manager Mike Wildgen said.

One of the city's goals in hiring employees is to foster a diverse work force, Wildgen said. And officials also can use all the help they can get.

That's where the federal work-study program comes in. For those who qualify, students typically would work for $6 an hour on a part-time basis, likely 15 to 20 hours a week.

The federal government pays up to 75 percent of the student's wages, leaving the city to find about $1.50 an hour to keep an employee on the payroll.

Johnico's been working for the city since May, and already has toured city streets with Lawrence police, looked over the city's water plant with officials and met with parks and recreation staffers who beautify the Lawrence landscape.

She took pictures, wrote up some copy and put together a job board now on display in the lobby at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.

``It will benefit both sides,'' she said, knowing the relationships would help ``bridge the gap'' between the city and Haskell.

Dorothy Stites should know. As a Haskell student, Stites worked in Johnico's position in the early '90s before earning a bachelor's and master's degree at Kansas University.

Today she's a management analyst for the city, working for the city's top administrators. She is the head researcher for cooperative efforts between the city and Lawrence school district, and this spring and summer helped compile the city's $79.3 million operating budget.

-- Mark Fagan's phone message number is 832-7188. His e-mail address is mfagan@ljworld.com.

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