The East Bay Regional Park District and two East Bay mayors invite young people ages 15 to 24 to the Park District’s annual job fairs, slated for Jan. 30 in Oakley and Feb. 6 in Oakland.
The Park District, one of the largest employers of young people in the East Bay, plans to hire more than 400 youth ages 15 to 24 to work in parks, offices and visitor centers this summer. Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland plans to attend the event in her city, the mayor of Oakley, Kevin Romick, is slated to attend the Oakley event.
"The City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Park District are both leaders in providing much-needed jobs for young people in the East Bay,” Schaaf said. “Youth employment is a priority for all of us, and we're delighted to join forces to match young people with challenging, well-paying jobs that could lead to successful careers."
Even in this rebounding economy, young people can have difficulty finding jobs, officials said.
“Jobs for young people can be scarce. Anything we can do to help teens and young adults get job training and find employment is something I think we all strongly support,” Romick said.
Most of the jobs are summer jobs, but the Park District hires young people all year round. Opportunities include: year-round internships working in administration, public safety, operations, finance, planning, stewardship, and other divisions; lifeguards to work at the District’s 11 pools and lakes; gate attendants; recreation leaders who serve as camp counselors; laborers; field interns; public safety and interpretive aides.
Most positions are paid, and include benefits and opportunities for career advancement. Many student workers have gone on to lifelong careers with the Park District – including General Manager Robert Doyle.
Mosekola Yoloye, a junior at Santa Clara University, used her public affairs internship at the Park District to advance her career goals in technology and business.
A computer engineering major, Yoloye helped re-design the Park District’s web site and create a youth jobs portal. She interviewed managers and human-resource staff about jobs, internships and career pathways available to high school and college students, and added photos of longtime District employees who began their careers in the District’s summer jobs program. The youth portal is expected to launch online at a later date.
“I gained a lot of experience in coding, especially web coding,” Yoloye said. “It was great to be given this challenge and then have the time to figure it out. And all the people I worked with were awesome.”
Intern Paula Pereira’s family hails from Brazil, where the rich biodiversity left a lasting impression on her. “I feel a strong connection to the land, and this desire to understand the natural systems of the world,” Pereira said. Currently pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in environmental management at the University of San Francisco, Paula finds that her academic internship with the Park District is an incredible opportunity.
Working with District stewardship staff, Pereira visits parks in search of the invasive plant yellow star-thistle. She then uses GPS tools and computer software to create digital maps of plant locations. “I’m learning about the practical aspects of land management – including technology - at the same time as I’m studying it in school,” says Pereira. Upon graduation, she has her sights set on a career in land conservation and restoration.
The first job fair will Saturday, Jan. 30 at Big Break Visitor Center, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley.
The second fair is at the Trudeau Training Center, 11500 Skyline Blvd., Oakland.
Both events are from 9 a.m. to noon.
The City of Oakland also has a comprehensive employment program for young people, Classrooms 2 Careers, which enrolls hundreds of young people in jobs and job training classes in both the public and private sectors, as well as non-profits.
Mosekola Yoloye, Public Affairs Intern
Paula Pereira, Stewardship Intern