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Laura Johnston
By Laura Johnston April 13, 2011

Competitive fellowship program to provide public service internships

It wasn"t a flashy promise touted in a news conference, but rather buried in a policy paper released late in the race for Cuyahoga County executive.

As part of his plan to lure young people to Cuyahoga County, Ed FitzGerald promised in September to develop a "meaningful internship program” in county government and to connect young people with internship and job opportunities through the county"s Employment & Family Services department.

This month, he followed through on half that pledge, announcing the competitive Cuyahoga County Public Policy Fellowship Program.

The county will hire about eight college and graduate students interested in public service, to focus on areas such as public works, regional collaboration and economic development. Fellow will work from June 6 through Aug. 12, receive a $1,500 stipend and develop a community-based service project to help a local nonprofit.

That"s in contrast to the hiring habits of the former county government, where sons and daughters of elected officials, administrators and favored contractors landed a haphazard array of summer jobs on the county payroll.

The goal of the new program, officials say, is to keep bright young people in Cleveland and train the next generation of public-service leaders.

No word yet on finding job opportunities outside the public realm. But because of the competitive internship program, we move this Fit-O-Meter for this promise to In the Works.


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