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Mayor Keller’s Youth Program Expansion Means Summer Jobs for Albuquerque Youth

Youth gain income and skills through summer work at the City of Albuquerque.

August 1, 2019

This summer, the City of Albuquerque hired 1,278 summer youth employees and interns. The number of positions for youth increased by about 200 from the previous year, as Mayor Tim Keller led an expansion of summer youth programming. The City has increased the hours, locations and number of programs, classes and events over the summer.

“We’ve seen a ripple effect from expanding summer programs as it creates more opportunities for older youth to get work experience,” stated Mayor Tim Keller. “One of my first jobs was at our City’s Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course during high school, and it kept me out of trouble and learning skills that have stuck with me over the years. This is one way that we can help the next generation get off on the right foot.”

The average age of summer seasonal hires is 18-years-old. 76 percent of these employees are youth of color.

“Our youth employees and interns make it possible for us to offer all these great programs and events during the summer, while giving them a chance to earn an income and gain work experience,” Cristin Chavez-Smith, the City’s Community Services Division Director who started her career as a Recreation Leader in the Summer Youth Program. “We are also able to learn a lot from having younger interns and employees around, about where are City is headed and how we can best serve that population.”

The City’s summer employees and interns gain many benefits through seasonal summer employment and the job mentor program, including: easier access to future jobs; improved soft skills such as personal responsibility, time management, interpersonal skills, and team work; professional skills and experience; mentorships and networks; and positive engagement in the community.

“I feel like the Community Center brings things out of me that make me a better person every day. Working here has showed me that kids need positive role models that are encouraging. You never know what they have going on at home and working here is beneficial to their wellbeing and it makes me feel good.”  – Trey R. Porter 16-years-old, staff at Mesa Verde Community Center.

Seasonal summer job positions include: recreation leaders, lifeguards, cashiers, adventure leaders, tennis instructors, swim instructors, office workers, and labor workers. The Job Mentor Program also places interns across City departments.

Mayor Tim Keller with summer employees at Sunport Pool.

One Albuquerque: Youth Connect is committed to connecting Albuquerque’s youth to childcare, education, recreation, and meals during out-of-school time throughout the year, enriching the lives of the people of Albuquerque and creating a community of safety and inclusion.

Youth Connect is made up of staff from a number of City of Albuquerque departments including the Mayor’s Office, Family and Community Services, Parks and Recreation, Senior Affairs, Cultural Services, Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Department of Technology and Innovation, Transit, and partnering organizations. For more information, visit: