Town Crier: Cheshire Public Works on the Benefits of Using Interns

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The inclusion of interns can offer a great opportunity for students while also greatly benefiting municipal programs. We conducted an interview with the Cheshire Department of Public Works & Engineering’s Assistant Town Engineer, Daniel J. Bombero Jr., to discuss the benefits of using interns in their department.

Question #1: Where do you find your interns? 

We listed a job posting on the Town’s website and, for the first time, this year we also listed on Indeed.com. The posting was specific to seeking currently enrolled engineering students. This year we received three applications for the position, all of which were through Indeed.com. All applicants were given formal interviews, after which we offered two applicants positions for the summer. In years past, there was only one of these positions offered; however, with several projects to tackle and an unfilled full-time position, we decided to bring two of the candidates on.

Question #2: Do you pay the interns? 

The intern positions are paid $10.75 per hour, the same rate as other seasonal employees in public works or our grounds division.

Question #3: Do you find the interns reliable? 

We have been lucky enough in the past few years to draw several motivated individuals. While personalities have differed over the years, we have been able to leverage the individuals’ interests and strong suits to benefit both the interns professionally and our program.

Question #4: What kind of projects/tasks do you have the interns work on? 

This past year, we were able to have interns involved in activities including GIS asset location and collection along with verification of existing asset location and related asset information. With the implementation of GIS-integrated outfall and catch basin inspection forms, were able to have the interns visit and inspect over 250 of these assets as part of the MS4 initiative. This was a big part of the workload that was carried by our interns this past year; however, we were able to also include them in some field survey work, drafting and work with Excel databases, as the interns voiced interest in these activities. It was great to be able to provide an opportunity for them to experience this work.

Question #5: Can you share either a success or lesson learned story with us?

When filling any position, there is always the possibility that you may not necessarily receive the level of production or enthusiasm that you are anticipating, and with that we have had both positive and negative experiences. This past year we were lucky enough to have two highly motivated interns who had both direction and drive and were able to complete the tasks that were asked of them. We also included them in activities related to the engineering avenues that they are anticipating moving into professionally in an effort to keep their interest and provide experience that they desired.

 

About Connecticut T2 Center

The Training & Technical Assistance Center at UCONN provides education and technical assistance to members of Connecticut's Transportation and Public Safety Community, including municipal public works directors, street and road maintenance superintendents and staff, city and town engineers, Connecticut Department of Transportation employees, transportation planners and law enforcement professionals serving as legal traffic authorities. We are Connecticut's LTAP Center
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