PATERSON, NJ- Paterson residents Ozzie Stewart and Sha’quan Lennon woke up jobless on Thursday, but by lunchtime the 63-year-old Marine veteran and 20-year-old-father to be had an opportunity to apply for one of 24 jobs being created as part of a program unveiled by Mayor Andre Sayegh on the steps of Paterson’s Main Library on Broadway.
Flanked by Council members Ruby Cotton and Luis Velez, as well as several other city officials, and with nearly 20 residents cheering them on, Sayegh announced that 24 jobs have been created as part of the three-phase “Clean and Safe Community Corridor Initiative” made possible by a $298,000 grant secured by the city’s Urban Enterprise Zone.
Calling the program a “win-win-win” for Paterson Sayegh said under the initiative part time employees will work up to 20 hours a week and be dispatched to commercial corridors in all six wards across the city. While the starting salary is $14.42 for the temporary positions Sayegh expressed hope that some of those hired will eventually gain full-time employment with the Department of Public Works. The immediate impact, he said, is that the city is “creating empowerment through employment.”
The new services will be provided seven days a week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and will include cleaning sidewalks, pulling weeds, maintaining planters and trash receptacles, removing outdated flyers, and alerting the DPW to recyclables for pick up.
Also in attendance was Police Director Jerry Speziale who spoke of “crime prevention through environmental design,” a public safety strategy that suggests that even small changes to an environment can impact crime rates.
“Clean streets lead to safe streets,” Speziale offered before praising the collaborative effort between the mayor’s office, the library, the police department, and department of public works, as well as others that will help to “unleash the power of many to achieve what we can’t alone.”
Residents interested in applying for the position can click here for more information and can also visit the Paterson Library for assistance including preparing a resume and completing an application.