Every day hundreds of people work behind the scenes to keep Prince Edward County running. We are profiling a few of the people that are ‘here for our community.’
We continue the series by profiling The County’s summer student program, which has provided summer employment for 14 students in 2021.
With larger group gatherings permitted under the province’s reopening plans, CAO Marcia Wallace recently hosted a “meet & greet” for The County’s summer students at The Crystal Palace. Students were invited to share stories about their role with the municipality and their plans for studying or pursuing their careers in the future.
CAO Wallace shared advice to help students and early-career workers to get the most out of their summer work experience. “Try to understand the why behind what you’ve been asked to do,” she offered. “Everything you’re being asked to do matters to residents, and knowing that can be really satisfying.” She also encouraged students to speak up to make their experience the best it can be. “If there’s something you’d like to be doing – a meeting you’d like to attend, an interesting task or project you’d like to participate in – ask,” she said. “You can shape your summer experience.”
Let’s meet some of the students in The County’s 2021 summer cohort:
Kaleb Stacey and Austin Thomas-Roberts, Recreation and Community Facilities Labourers
What’s a typical day in the life of Kaleb and Austin?
Kaleb Stacey (KS): We show up to work at 7 am usually, then we’ll talk to the foreman to see what’s on the agenda for the day. Right now, for the parks, it would be rototilling. We have to do every park once a week. And if we’ve had a rainy day, maybe we’ll check out the parks to make sure there are no tree limbs down.
Austin Thomas-Roberts (ATR): We do a wide variety of things. It never gets repetitive because we’re always switching it up.
What do you like about your summer job?
ATR: I love everyone I work with. Everyone gets along well. It’s a blast, and they’re all funny guys, especially Kaleb! You’re outside all day, in the sun, walking around, keeping active. It makes the day move by so quickly when you’re not in one spot.
KS: I’ve been working with The County during the summer for three years now in Recreation and before that in Operations. When I first started a few years ago, I really liked it. It was a good job to have in the summer, and I keep coming back.
Any particularly interesting tasks or moments so far?
KS: I really like working in the arena. Putting in the ice was a really interesting project, and we even took a time lapse video of it going in.
ATR: Kaleb and I were working together one day, and there was a nest of baby turtles at the Bloomfield Mill Pond. We had to find them and bring them down to the pond. So that was an unusual day and an unusual task.
What are your goals for the future?
KS: I went to school to be a police officer. Eventually, a job in by-law would be a good fit.
ATR: I’m going to university this year for Economics.
Codie Goodman – Virtual and Outdoor Events Assistant, County Museums
This is not your first year working with The County. Tell us about your work experiences with The County so far?
Codie Goodman (CG): This is year three for me. I started off as the Escape Room Coordinator for the Museums, and last year I was a Digitization and Inventory Management Assistant so I was updating online files and doing inventory, and now this year, I’m the Virtual and Outdoor Programming Coordinator so I set up the Museums’ programming and special events.
What do you like most about your work with The County?
CG: I’ve had the opportunity to plan a lot of things on my own. The idea for the Past to Present series of walking tours was kind of my baby. The idea of doing a series and doing different tours every other week as opposed to running the same one every week was my idea, which proved to be very challenging, but also really rewarding and successful. I’ve also been able to reach out to some of my personal connections and bring them into the events, so I have planned an event with Suzanne Pasternak and I’ve been working with Caleb Hutton to get music at the Museum sites. It’s been great being able to run with my own creative ideas.
What are your plans for the future?
CG: I just finished my honours undergrad in Anthropology and I’m starting my masters in September in Cultural Studies in order to get my Ontario Museums Association certification. My end goal is to work in museums, so my experience with The County has been so great to see all sides of museum work. Just this week, my supervisor, Jessica, was giving me the rundown on how you plan and create a new exhibit and teaching me things because she knows I’m interested. I’ve been really lucky.
Caitlain Ball – Communications and Consultations Assistant
What’s a typical day on the job as a Communications Assistant?
Every Monday, we have a team meeting to look at the week ahead and plan our PSAs and projects. I’ve taken on lots of different tasks like writing speaking notes for the Mayor, researching and writing PSAs, studying the results of the Noise By-Law consultation and writing a summary of the public feedback. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about a lot of interesting things like the Sail Past ceremony at the Yacht Club and the meaning behind that, or researching the history of Birdhouse City.
What was one of your favourite projects?
I really enjoyed working on the Silver Chain Challenge. It was an active transportation challenge between municipalities in eastern Ontario, and The County actually won. I was responsible for the campaign, and it was great to have a project where I could get the ball rolling and keep it rolling until the end.
What are your plans for the future?
I am studying Politics with a focus on international security and defense, and I am doing a minor in Human Resources. I wanted to work in the front lines of politics, but this position has been a turning point for me. Working in communications has given me new ideas about what I could do with my education. I started researching PR and government relations firms and have been thinking about a career in communications for politics or for human resources.
Read all of the Here for Our Community staff profiles on The County’s website.