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CREST is tops with working teens

Molly Shore

If city employees are looking especially young these days, it could

be that they are.

Through the City Resources Employing Students Today program, the


city employs about 70 local high school students, in jobs of three to

four months. They work 10 to 20 hours a week in various city offices,

said Administrative Analyst Sommer Embree, who oversees the program.

It is a good place for teens to learn interview skills and how to


get a job, Embree said.

“The program is great for teens,” said Jason Meneses, a John

Burroughs High School senior. Jason, 17, works in the city’s

purchasing and public- information offices three days a week, and

said that through the program, students learn how to answer phones,

deal with the public and handle routine office tasks, while preparing

for their future in the working world.

Amanda Montei, 17, also a senior at Burroughs, learned about CREST


when her boyfriend, Travis Hale, worked in the program. With an eye

to her college education and eventually a career in pediatrics or

psychiatry, Amanda said her office job in the Park, Recreation and

Community Services Department’s Youth Resources office is a great


“It’s very helpful to have this job, not to mention the

experience,” Amanda said. “I love it. It’s the best opportunity I’ve

had. This being my first job, I really appreciate it.”


Because her parents are not able to pay for her college tuition,

Amanda said she saves half of her paycheck, which she will use to

cover the cost. She earns minimum wage of $6.75 an hour, and has been

employed since August.

All CREST employees are on the city payroll, Embree said. The

program, in its fifth year, is funded by the city’s general fund, the

same as regular employees, Embree said.

Anyone can apply for a CREST program job, but it is primarily

based on referrals, Embree said.

For more information on the CREST program, call 238-5327.