29 students get summer jobs, eyes opened as school custodians
'I used to be one of the students that used to write on desks,' says Joshua Nantais
Nearly 30 public high school students in Windsor-Essex have jobs this summer.
They've landed jobs as custodians, cleaning their schools.
This is the sixth year the school board has received provincial money to hire students as custodians.
Twenty-nine of them will be pushing mops and cleaning desks right along side the full-time staff in the schools.
The experience opened the eyes of Joshua Nantais, who has been hired for the third summer.
"I used to be one of the students that used to write on desks. I didn't really care about what I did in school or anything," he said. "The first year coming to this program, I cleaned desks.
"It showed me what janitors really do and I've had respect for them ever since that."
Nantais said he would like to make it a career.
Emma Fields has already spent two weeks pushing a broom toward her co-op credit.
"I really like it. It's given me some field experience, and it's also giving me the hours I need to complete my schooling along with training, so it's pretty nice," she said.
The students will work a 35-hour work week and be paid minimum wage: $11/hr.
This is Marc Santarossa's second year doing the job.
"It's a very repetitive job, but it kind of gives you an insight on how you're going to work in the actual workforce," he said.
The students will be going through more training before hitting the schools on July 7.
They'll be given safety tips such as what chemicals to use and how to use them properly.
The school board has actually hired some of the students full-time after they graduate.
Katherine Galipeau, a human resources officer with the public school board, says it's a good experience for the students, whether they are hired or not.
"It's actually a great opportunity for our students in our school board because it gives them hands-on experience performing job duties as a custodian," she said. "Some of our students even are working towards a co-op credit so they're receiving a co-op credit to help with their graduation."