Youth in Government Day

Creating pathways to public service is at the core of IPPS.  In 2018, IPPS partners hosted its first-ever Youth in Government (YIG) Day experience for young people to explore careers  in local government.

Sacramento County

In advance of the planned site visit, staff from the County of Sacramento’s Human Resources Department and the Institute for Local Government met with students and teachers to talk about the basics of local government, careers in public service and connected their interests to jobs within cities, counties and special districts.

Following months of planning and coordination among a great network of partners that included employees of Sacramento County and local educators, mroe than 60 students of Carver High School visited the county’s Bradshaw facility from 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with a working lunch. Youth gained valuable insight into the variety of careers available in:

  • Environmental & Public Health
  • Plumbing
  • Recycling and Waste Management
  • Real Estate
  • Signs and Marking
  • Transportation and Fleet Management, and
  • Wastewater Treatment and more!

Students toured the different parts of the campus, tested out equipment, put on uniforms, observed work in action, and heard from employees of diverse skill and backgrounds directly about their career pathways.  Sacramento County staff members had fun and interesting presentations that dove deep into their work providing essential services. They engaged youth with thought-provoking questions.  As the group was large, four cohorts of youth went on tours that were repeated at different times of day to ensure all participants connected with at least three major county departments. The youth and adults were each evaluated for their opinions on the day-long experience (that happened to take place on a smoky day during the tragic Camp Fire). Students and adults both agreed it was a fantastic learning experience and worth their  valuable time. Following the event, youth received certificates recognizing their experience and students wrote thank you notes highlighting their favorite tour stops and future career interests.

Placer County

After learning about the successes and lessons from the Sacramento YIG experience, the County of Placer decided it wanted to engage with its school partners to replicate YIG for local teens to see for themselves what county government and careers are all about.

On a warm Spring day, Placer County Staff engaged with more than 30 youth to showcase the following departments:

  • Animal Services (HHS)
  • Auditor – Controller
  • Community Development Resource Agency
  • Department of Public Works
  • Sherriff’s Office

From 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. the youth went on tours to different sites of the county campus, worked on a scavenger questionnaire, won prizes for their thoughtful questions and engagement in the discussions, and directly interviewed county staff.

The event was held in conjunction with Public Service Recognition Week which is about celebrating public service careers.  See an article written by Gold County Media about the experience.