04/17/18 — Council sticks to hiring process

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Council sticks to hiring process

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on April 17, 2018 5:50 AM

A proposal to change the hiring process for the Goldsboro summer youth job program into a lottery selection process was shot down by the Goldsboro City Council Monday.

Councilman Antonio Williams recommended the change, which failed to gain support from the majority of the board. The proposal was discussed during the council's evening work session.

"We had a citizen come to our meeting, our last council meeting, and she suggested that we have a lottery," Williams said. "So I would like to know if the council didn't have a problem with us doing a lottery and the mayor can pick the numbers out or the names out and make sure that it's fair."

Councilman Bill Broadaway disagreed that a lottery would increase fairness due to the random selection of teens. He also noted the work of Shycole Simpson-Carter, the city's community relations director, to organize the program during the past several months.

"I'm just saying, she's gone through all of this work right now," Broadaway said.

"I've played the lottery ever since it's been here, and I haven't hit the lottery yet."

Williams disagreed, saying he heard from parents concerned about the hiring process in 2017, when nearly 50 jobs were offered to Goldsboro teens.

"Last year, we had a problem," Williams said. "Citizens were calling me, saying their children didn't get an opportunity to get a job."

Simpson-Carter recommended that the city continue with the interview process to maintain the credibility of the program.

"What we have found is, there are some kids that don't want to work," Simpson-Carter said. "When we're having these work sites, who are gracious enough to allow us to put youth there, we need to ensure that we have youth that are willing to work and are qualified."

The summer job program, in its second year in the city, is planned to offer 57 jobs to teens, between the ages of 14 and 18, at $7.25 per hour.

A variety of jobs will be available as teens are placed with area organizations, businesses, local government and nonprofits.

The city of Goldsboro will pay the cost of 47 jobs and the Goldsboro Housing Authority will pay for another 10. The application process, which recently closed, captured 114 applicants, with 89 eligible and meeting most requirements, Simpson-Carter said.

Interviews start in May and selected teens will work one of two six-week tracks, starting June 11 or Aug. 17.

Councilman Bevan Foster said a lottery system could raise questions of fairness, as well.

"Either way, you're going to have some negativity," Foster said. "In order to get them prepared for the future, I think they should go through the interview process.

"I think the lottery is going to be a little too, I don't know, chancy because you don't know what you're going to get."

The council did not vote on the proposal and accepted Simpson-Carter's recommendation to maintain the interview process.

In her report during the Monday work session, Simpson-Carter said 114 teens applied to the program, with 89 meeting most eligibility requirements. One final mandatory information session will be hosted by the city on April 24.

The applicants include a mix of teens from each of the council's six districts and who attend 16 area schools. The most, 34, attend Eastern Wayne High and the second-highest number of applicants, 31, attend Goldsboro High.