Archive for June, 2009

The Weekly Wrap-Up

Summer youth are exposed to a variety of DCRA functions.

Summer youth are exposed to a variety of DCRA functions.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs summer works program kicked off this week with a superior start. On Monday, the summer youth were greeted with an orientation that introduced DCRA and the participating staff. Preceding the orientation, the summer youth were familiarized with the DCRA’s building. Each youth received identification and kastle cards. Kastle cards are keys that grant access to employee only zones throughout the building. Summer youth employees had been divided into groups such as permit operations/zoning and superior, HR/support services, information technology, chief of staff/communication, office of the general counsel, enforcement and inspections apprentice just to name a few. Groups are dispersed through the building and in the field fulfilling daily assignments such as filing papers, signing off permits, working in the field, interviewing peers and co-workers, answering telephones, building customer service skills and gaining general knowledge of the workforce.

On Tuesday, summer youth employees were eager and ready to work. I had the opportunity to interview several youths about the program. I learned that many summer youth employees appreciate and cherish the opportunity to work with DCRA. Youth employee Jason Barnes is excited about his information technology experience and DeAngelo Goldston enjoys working with support services and wants to become a permanent employee. Throughout the week summer, youth will became more familiarized with their assignments, co-workers, and team coordinators which gives the summer youth employees the ability to excel in their work performance.

The week ended with a huge success. This Friday and every Friday for the

The session for the young ladies was very powerful.

The session for the young ladies was very powerful.

duration of the summer program, DCRA’s Kristina Swann and Tania Williams have created a professional development session to empower the summer youths. This particular session was broken down into three sessions. The young ladies of the summer program had an empowerment session with a panel of five successful women; Jillian Macklin, Linda K Argo (director of DCRA), Angela Reddis, Paula Darasaw and Benita Rice. Each young lady had the opportunity to introduce herself and her current goals of the future to the panel. The panel discussed important topics such as the importance of education, how important appearance is and never being afraid to start over. The young ladies had the opportunity to do a question and answer session with the panel. The young ladies asked question that would help them prepare for their future.

The young men’s session was also a success, their panel included five men. Twane Duckworth, Cyril Byron, Lionel Andre, D. Michael Bennett and Cesar Venice. The successful men talked to the young men to give encouragement

Members of DCRA's staff were the "models" in the fashion show.

Members of DCRA's staff were the "models" in the fashion show.

and assurance. The panel reminded the summer youth males that in life they would need skills, to be presentable, to master their task at hand and most importantly that education is critical. Speaker Cyril Byron recited a statement that I am sure will follow the young men “I am doing this for my bread and meat if I don’t do this I don’t eat”. The young men interacted well with the panel. The third session was a success; a fashion show was put together to give youth an idea of appropriate and inappropriate attire for work. Youth really had positive feedback and enjoyed the show. Youth worker Melvin Carter said the fashion show was hit and he found it comical, he also said that he anticipate profession development Friday’s so that he can wear his business attire. Overall the summer youth program at DCRA first week was a extremely successful week!

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The Importance of Time Management

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has decided to branch out and take part in helping better prepare the future of D.C.’s youth through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) ’09. The program allows about 83 different divisions of DCRA/in the building. These youth employees are gaining and hoping to gain more knowledge about the important skills needed in the workforce. This includes good customer service, organization, computer, and time management skills. Time management is definitely one of the most important skills to have.

Many of the youth have discovered how important time management skills are through the program already. Balancing your time, being aware of the time, and not procrastinating are all apart of good time management. Some employees still have not gotten used to waking up this early to work, but still understand that it will pay off later on. They also realize time equals money, and being punctual will give/get them the pay.

Youth employees Whitley Lucio, Jasmine Williams, and Bryan Cyrus find that since the time is not too different from the start of the school day, waking up for work is not a hassle. Even though it is summer break, they attempt to come on time with positive attitudes every day. On the other hand, some like Nicole Claybrooks, Daeshanae Woodward, and Danielle Chappelle feel like it is a stress to get up in the mornings during what is supposed to be a vacation, but know they still must come to work maintaining good work ethics and manners.

Overall , the youth employees will learn throughout the program that time management is just one of the many essential skills needed in the working world. We all learn everyday that when we are late to work, not only does it lower our pay but also can harm our reputation as a good employee. Time management and organization are two of the key skills needed to portray yourself as a good employee. If you keep those in tact, the rest should just come easily.

Plans and Goals

The 2009 DCRA Summer Youth are ready to work! Many came with

Willis Bradwell, Writer

Willis Bradwell, Writer

the right attitude to learn and grow.  Summer Youth, Gregory Edelin, seeks to obtain a better understanding of the work field.

Many of the Summer Youth have taken on early leadership roles. Supervisor, Elli Travis, is an upcoming senior at Indiana University studying: Economics, Hungarian, and Russian. She has aspirations of working in government. DCRA has helped her to gain an improved knowledge of the workings of that arena. Another Youth Supervisor, Ahmed Brown, also hopes of working in government. He is a rising junior at Howard University, majoring in Political Science. He takes his job and his schoolwork very seriously, and plans to obtain his MBA.

DCRA keeps the Summer Youth very busy. Some even work in the busiest

Elli Travis, Youth Supervisor

Elli Travis, Youth Supervisor

office of them all, the Permit Operations department. Kristin Cousins maintains her cool, even while in a very active workplace. She hopes to build a good work ethic, and prepare herself for the road ahead. Kristin works with DeAnthony Campbell. A very diligent worker, DeAnthony concerns himself with becoming more productive and efficient at any given task.

The Summer Youth have lots of goals and big dreams. Jason Barnes works in the Surveyor’s Office with ambitions of working closely with computers.

 One day he would like to work in an IT department, and since computers are an extremely important part of the way the world operates, employment will probably never be an issue for Jason. Another big dreamer is Bryan Cyrus, who wants to gain a career where he can combine his passion for computers
Ahmed Brown, Youth Supervisor

Ahmed Brown, Youth Supervisor

 and music. He has goals of learning how to better handle his money, and becoming more of a professional. DCRA has also helped Summer Youth, Tempest Cook, better prepare herself for the future. She hopes to become a pediatrician one day. De’Angelo Goldston wishes to work at DCRA as a full-time employee. He is not only pleased to be able to work, but to also find something he likes doing.

DCRA Summer Youth Program Kicks Off!

(L-R) Dajah Blackwell, Lesley Thomas, Darion Parker, Willis Bradwell, Van Crawford

(L-R) Dajah Blackwell, Lesley Thomas, Darion Parker, Willis Bradwell, Van Crawford

Welcome to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ new blog centered all around the 2009 District Summer Youth Employment Program.  Here at Building Blocks, we hope to chronicle all of the events and happenings at DCRA as 83  of the city’s finest  young people gain some of the skills necessary to prepare them for the working world.

I am very excited about the team here at Building Blocks.  I’m sure  you too will be amazed by some of the great writing, photography, videography and graphics that they will showcase.  Our very own Darion Parker designed the header that you see at the top of your screen and I’m looking forward to seeing what other designs he can come up with! 

Over the coming days, you’ll get to meet the writers here at Building Blocks as they publish their first stories to let  you know how the first week is shaping up.  So, add us to your blogrolls, make us one of your favorites in your bookmarks and check back here often!  You won’t want to miss a thing!

Shana Kemp
Coordinator, DCRA SYEP ’09 Communications Division

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