Palm Springs City Council will be asked to approve a city-sponsored lunchtime program for youth and young adults

PALM SPRINGS — In an effort support local residents and Palm Springs youth, City Hall staff proposes a Lunchtime Program that will include a catered lunch from places such as Subway, Olive Garden and Red Robin — and a presentation by different City departments, such as Maintenance and Parks & Recreation.

The initial cost estimate for these lunchtime sessions is not to exceed $5,000. Sufficient funding is available in the
current fiscal year City Manager budget, according to a staff report.

The City Council will consider the proposal when it meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26.

In recent years, the city’s recruitment for open positions has largely led to new employees from outside of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. The Lunchtime Talk Program is designed to reverse the trend.

The City of Palm Springs currently has approximately 8,368 residents that fall in the age category of 0-24 years old. This group makes up 18% of the entire population of Palm Springs, yet it faces a shortage of widely available opportunities that
can help them develop professionally, according to the report prepared by Johnny Arredondo, intern for Mayor Pro Tem Grace Garner. About 5,073 of the individuals in this group are students in Palms Springs’ seven local schools. A majority of these students are Hispanic (71.27%), with the next largest demographic being White (14.23%), followed by the third
largest group Black/African American (6.17%).

Children are currently eligible to partake in activities hosted by the YMCA at Rosa Gardens, Building Resilience in African American Families program, Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs, Palm Springs Library, and the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. These programs all offer activities such as sports, arts and crafts, camps, and specialty clubs, according to the report. Young adults, however, are restricted from taking advantage of such programs if they exceed the age requirements. While they can become volunteers at one of the many nonprofit organizations found in Palm Springs, there are very few avenues for them to explore public sector careers in the city of Palm Springs.

The city does not currently have an established channel to communicate and engage with high school or college students who wish to explore, learn about, and apply for vacant employment, shadowing, or internship positions within city government, according to the report. When these opportunities are available, it can be difficult to reach their audiences unless third parties, such as schools, can distribute them to students.

Lunchtime sessions can be scheduled from June to early September, according to the report. The proposed venue, Palm Springs High School, will hold summer school from June 7th to June 27th. Holding meetings during this timeframe will allow students to be free of school-related commitments and it will allow new graduates to participate in them as well. These
sessions can include up to 25 participants, most of which should be juniors and seniors in high school, or freshmen and sophomores in college. Six sessions, with a duration of one hour, throughout this period are recommended. These meetings can be held over Zoom, in City Hall, or in one of Palm Springs Unified School District’s school campuses.

As a part of these lunchtime sessions, meals will be provided for participants.

Image Sources

  • Subway: Shutterstock