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Vital Link program introduces students to City Hall opportunities

Posted Aug. 30, 2018

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a teen being interviewed on the screen
Vital Link students learned how a green screen works while they were making their own video.

City staff from the Community Engagement Office, Cable TV, Water Department, Office of Emergency Management, Performance Office, Consumer Health, Teen Court, Animal Care & Control, Police Department and Solid Waste Division were recognized by the City Council for their collaborative efforts with the FWISD Vital Link program this summer.

Community Engagement liaisons Barry Cram and Tabitha Butler were co-leaders of the project this year.

The Vital Link program is a weeklong, half-day internship program designed to demonstrate the connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is needed for success in the workplace. Each day, students were treated to an interactive, behind-the-scenes look at the City of Fort Worth by spending time with different departments:

  • While visiting the Community Engagement Office, students learned about community building and city services.
  • Cable TV allowed students to videotape, interview and cut audio to make a video.
  • The Water Department gave students a treatment plant tour, a visit to the meter shop and tips about how to conserve water.
  • At the Office of Emergency Management, they experienced a live disaster response exercise.
  • The Performance Office walked students through the extensive city budgeting process.
  • Consumer Health allowed students to participate in a mobile vendor inspection.
  • The Municipal Courts Teen Court program allowed students to become defense attorneys, prosecutors and jury members during a mock jury trial.
  • They also witnessed how staff at the Animal Care & Control Center evaluate and care for animals.
  • Students were welcomed to the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex to experience firsthand what it takes to complete the Policy Academy.
  • They also participated in a waste-sorting activity with Solid Waste and discovered how much “trash” can be recycled to save landfill space.

In total, 44 middle school students learned about more than 30 different municipal career opportunities and the education and skillsets required to join the city’s growing workforce.

Organizations interested in exploring partnerships can contact the Community Engagement Office.

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