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BDS welcomes high school summer interns for the second year


BDS Student InternshipOn July 7th, BDS had a welcoming presentation for 10 high school summer internship students for the second summer in a row.  Last year Commissioner Randy Leonard and Director Paul Scarlett approved the “School to Work” program which hired 5 students from Parkrose high school in addition to 5 students from Immigrant Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) for a 7 week summer internship with the bureau.

BDS Student InternshipLast year's program was such a success, BDS extended the program this year to Jefferson High School Career Pathways Program.  With the help of Jefferson’s Career Pathways Counselor Laura Bullinski, we were able to choose 5 interested and qualified students to work in Site Development, Administrative Services, Permitting Services, Information Technology, Combination Inspections, Sign/Electrical Inspections, Neighborhood Inspections and Customer Services.

In addition, the City of Portland continues to partner with IRCO by hiring students for summer internships throughout the bureaus. However, last year was the first time the BDS Customer Service team joined the IRCO students and the chosen high school students together.  BDS worked with IRCO’s Career Counselor Jasmine Samples who provided us with 5 interested and qualified students as well.

BDS Student InternshipThe students will have an adventurous internship which will include field trips, various work assignments, outreach events, inspector ride-alongs and much more.  “The goal of the program is to reach out to youth from diverse backgrounds, Portland Public Schools and various community organizations, with the hopes of providing a positive work experience and open their eyes to the services and employment opportunities the City of Portland has to offer”, says Outreach Program Coordinator Tiffani Penson.

 BDS Student Internship

Besides the exciting and new students filling our bureau, the staff that participates in training and mentoring of the students is very serious and dedicated in making sure the students learn all they can and have a very positive work experience.  On behalf of the Customer Service team, we are very grateful for the staff’s participation, which contributes to the continued success of the program.

For more information, please contact Outreach Program Coordinator Tiffani Penson @ (503) 823-1109 or


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Nate Waas Shull

July 16, 2008 at 1:17 PM

This is fabulous news! The summer internships at BDS are an outstanding example of the innovative ways city bureaus are working to involve young people and help make "Our Bill of Rights: Children and Youth" a reality. Kudos to everyone over at BDS for their leadership - and especially to Tiffani Penson for her creativity, passion and dedication.

Nate Waas Shull
Youth Engagement Coordinator
Office of Mayor Tom Potter


Kaia Range

July 16, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Congratulations on your successful program! As a recently-graduated-from-high-school student, I really appreciate BDS's committment to reaching out and involving youth. I have a strong respect for adults who are willing to help a young person to succeed. Sometimes one caring adult is all it takes.

Thank you for your leadership and for steping up to be a great role model for other bureaus, businesses, and organizations to follow!

Keep up the outstanding work!

Kaia Range
Grant High School Alum of '07

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