Thinking Outside the Box Gives Latino Teens Jobs


Thinking outside of the box, Waterbury turned to hundreds of Latino teens and others to help clear the way after this past weekend’s Storm Nemo that pounded the city with more than two feet of snow.
As media partner NBC CT reported, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary identified a readily available workforce – teens home from the closed school system – that was young and strong and willing to earn a few bucks. It harkened back to the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression when unemployed masses were put to work on public building projects across the country.
The mayor put out the call to any youths 14 and older and paid them minimum wage ($8.25 per hour) to help clear out the city’s 29 public high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. It’s a daunting task as the schools are still closed today, Feb. 14, and its approximately 18,000 K-12 students, approximately 45 percent who are Latino, sit idly by for a fifth straight day.
More than 500 answered the call from the mayor and showed up outside his Grand Street office on Tuesday ready to shovel. They shoveled until 5 p.m. the first day and were back at it again yesterday for another day of shoveling.
No cost estimates were available. All of the students needed permission from their parents before they could shovel if they were under 18. They also had to bring their own shovels.
Photo (c) NBC CT