Education Matters!

Partner Profiles: City of Roseburg

City Manager seeks homegrown
talent for municipal workforce

F

inding people to staff City Hall and other spokes of the municipal wheel isn’t that difficult, according to Roseburg City Manager Lance Colley. Keeping people in those jobs can be more of a challenge when the employees aren’t familiar with rural Oregon.

That’s one reason Colley is pleased to be a DCPSS member.

“Sometimes it’s hard to keep people here. People in city government jobs tend to move a little bit, or they may move when a spouse gets another job,” Colley said. “We’d like to get the best students from around here to think in terms of opportunities if they want to stay in Roseburg.”

Police and fire are two of the most visible city departments to youth thinking over career possibilities. And the need for those jobs extends to county government and rural districts. Less obvious at City Hall, but just as necessary, are positions in parks, public works and accounting departments.

“We provide maintenance in parks and public works; we maintain streets, and storm drains and run the water treatment facility. And Roseburg Urban Sanitary Authority runs the sanitary sewer treatment facility,” Colley said. “Those are all good-paying jobs, entry level, that generally require just a high school diploma.” Once employed and with some experience under their belts, these workers usually go on to get certification, which they can do on the job with employer support.

Students interested in parks maintenance jobs could give themselves a boost by taking courses in construction, horticulture, science and math, though these generally aren’t required.

We don’t have Intel here, but we do have financial institutions, medical facilities and manufacturing opportunities for kids in that area that are a little more sophisticated than many people recognize.”

-Lance Colley
Roseburg City Manager

Math courses will also benefit students interested in working in accounts payable/accounts receivable jobs. Though accountant positions require at least a two-year degree, entry-level jobs in accounts payable/receivable usually are open to high school graduates with some continuing education credits. (Umpqua Community College has an associate degree program in accounting technology.)

Other departments feature jobs usually requiring four-year degrees, but with some exceptions. In public works, some entry-level engineering technician jobs may be available to high school graduates. Many clerical, secretarial and administrative assistant jobs do not require four-year degrees, though post-high school training in office practices and software systems is preferred. Colley said applicants with great communication skills and who have taken writing courses will have an advantage for those positions.

Returning to police and fire department work, Colley said the two fields represent two of the largest employment sectors within local government. Students interested in those jobs can turn to related courses at UCC such as fire science and law enforcement skills.

Vacancies left by retirement, replacement and relocations generally have the city of Roseburg prepared to recruit for a 5 to 8 percent turnover annually, Colley said. He added he’d love to see as many positions as possible filled by qualified people from Douglas County. Not only at City Hall, but also in other county businesses.

“We don’t have Intel here, but we do have financial institutions, medical facilities and manufacturing opportunities for kids in that area that are a little more sophisticated than many people recognize,” Colley said.

Learn more about the City of Roseburg on its website HERE.

Inviting a Youth Invasion

Douglas County students eager to learn more about career opportunities in city government may be able to see some of those jobs in action next year, if Lance Colley and others are able to organize visits modeled on the Oct. 23 Youth Invasion at the Hillsboro Civic Center.

Hillsboro’s Youth Invasion allowed about 300 students to explore careers in public works and city government by visiting sites and meeting with employees during their shifts. Colley, who attended Hillsboro’s gathering, said the idea is to bring students to tour “different parts of city government and other places where people don’t really think about that offer good, competitive jobs and opportunities.”

Colley said he’s hoping to start a sort of “mini invasion” in the spring that would bring Elkton High students to Roseburg City Hall. By fall, Colley said he hopes to have another such event for Roseburg High School students. He’s also prepared to share the idea with other city managers within Douglas County.

“Not all of us provide the same services, but local governments around the state and country can provide an incredible amount of community service through these types of programs and opportunities,” Colley said.

Learn more about the City of Roseburg on its website HERE.


Roseburg K-9 OfficerJob: Police officer
Education required*: High school diploma or equivalent, police academy and on-the-job training.
Median Salary**: $58,720 a year.
*education-portal.com
**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Roseburg FirefighterJob: Firefighter
Education required*: High school diploma or equivalent, fire training academy and on-the-job training.
Median Salary**: $45,600 a year.
*education-portal.com
**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Roseburg Public WorksJob: Public Works employee
Education required: High school diploma or equivalent, on-the-job training and specific certifications.
Mean Salary**: $37,710 a year.
*City of Roseburg
** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Roseburg City Hall

Job: Clerical, secretarial and administrative assistants.
Education required: High school diploma or equivalent, post-secondary training in office practices and software systems.
Mean Salary**: $38,250 a year.
*City of Roseburg
** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Photos courtesy of the City of Roseburg.

Learn more about the City of Roseburg on its website HERE.


We attempt to publish a feature story about our DCPSS partners every month. Keep checking back to learn more about our partners, their work in the community and with DCPSS.

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