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Chapman: Seeking student interns

By Staff | Aug 22, 2014

The Tribune staff had the honor of working with a great high school intern this summer in Rugby’s Thor Skjelver.

Thor did a little bit of everything (including entertaining) and proved a valuable asset to our crew. While writing sports, news, entertainment and even a column, Thor gained real work experience with the pressure of deadlines.

We know there are other inquisitive youngsters in our community and we invite all high schoolers to stop by for a tour and to consider interning at the Tribune. Students can also speak with Mrs. Trottier about a similar opportunity through the co-op program.

What does a student stand to gain with experience working at the?Tribune? Well, we want the students to determine what they want to learn and work on, and there is a host of advantages for anyone interested.

Working on deadline will teach interns the importance of being on time. Any job students will take after high school or college will require work to be done in a timely fashion. At a newspaper, the deadlines are pretty consistent and obvious as we need to produce a publication each week.

Working at the newspaper also will teach students about civic responsibility and provide a greater understanding of the role newspapers play in our democratic society.

Every student will need to hone their writing skills before applying for jobs and college. Working at a newspaper will give students a chance to see their works published after the editing process. Effective communication in all industries is best seen through concise, clear and sometimes crafty wording.

Students will have opportunities to cover a variety of topics, including sports. They will learn to write features and cover games. Through sportswriting students will understand the importance of objectivity and why we don’t use “we” when referring to the home team.

Council members on point

Setting a budget is no easy task and the city’s finance committee has a lot of work ahead. One challenge facing the committee each year is paying the city’s employees. Finding the right balance for pay raises for city hall, public safety and public works employees isn’t as simple as one number fits all.

The finance committee – chairman Jim Hoffert, Dave Bednarz and Gary Kraft – are working closely with Mayor Arland Geiszler and had to provide less than encouraging opinions at Wednesday’s meeting.

The public works department joined the meeting and expressed frustration with a proposed increase in funding and raises for the police department. There’s no arguing that one department is more important than the other. The city cannot run without both.

Committee members explained that Police Chief John Rose submitted a detailed request for additional monies. The same cannot be said for the public works department. Therefore, the finance committee’s preliminary suggestions for the 2015 budget had no chance of coming close to what public works employees want, and may deserve.

The committee also explained that studies and research show that police officer retention issues are linked to wages and the huge discrepency between the eastern and western parts of the state. The same has not been proved regarding the public works department.

Are the public works employees underpaid? Probably. But that doesn’t mean all city employees (or employees within specific departments) deserve the same pay increases. The committee and mayor were right to point out that employees should receive raises – beyond cost of living -based on performance.

Are the public works employees being stretched thin? It appears so. Did the department lose an employee in the last year? Yes. Did the department lose that employee because of wages? No.

It’s up to the public works supervisor to ensure his crew is represented properly by submitting a detailed explanation of why increases should be made. It’s also up to the supervisor to improve a damaged repuation throughout the community and ensure all of his employees are treated equally. Staff retention is made easier if that is achieved. Equal pay is an ideal. Fair pay is legitimate and should be determined.

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