Twin sisters start their bright future with The City of Palatka
Reagan and Riley Blackmer are spending their summer learning firsthand about what working in local government is like. The seventeen-year-old identical twins are part of the City of Palatka’s Summer Intern Program designed to expose area high school and college students to how the City operates and help them achieve their educational goals.
Reagan and Riley, are incoming seniors at Q. I. Roberts Junior-Senior High School, who hope to pursue careers in medicine and law, Reagan by getting law and medical degrees, and Riley becoming a pediatric surgeon.
“I wanted to get involved in the community because I have an interest in going into law, and that heavily relies on working with the community,” said Reagan, who is working this summer in the City’s Public Works Department,” I’m really happy I’m in public works because that is what we do… Public Works works with the community.”
Reagan’s job at Public Works includes answering the phone, helping customers who come to the office, and filing paperwork.
“I think Public Works is arguably one of the most important departments in the City,” said Reagan. “They take care of the City’s water lines and sewer, pick up trash, fix roads, maintain City buildings, parks, and cemeteries,” she said. “It is unbelievable how small the [Public Works] departments are, but how much gets done. These people are so hard working.”
“It is definitely a career that I never thought I’d be interested in, but I’ve learned so much, and it’s actually been very fun for me. I love my job there. I love everything I’m doing.” said Reagan.
Reagan’s sister Riley works in the City’s Human Resources Department in City Hall, where she meets many different City employees.
My favorite days have definitely been taking tours of the City and going and meeting all of the employees at each department. We went to the police station, the fire department, the wastewater treatment plant, the water treatment plant, and public works.” said Riley, “We went everywhere and it was fun just getting to meet the employees and see what they do for the City.”
“It has been fascinating to see the important relationship that HR has with employees and to get the big picture and realize how much the employees do for the City,” she said. “The biggest surprise, I would definitely say, was how much and how many things the employees are responsible for in the operations of the City. I think people sometimes take what it takes to make a city run for granted.”
When asked if she would recommend her friends to come to work for the City, she said. “There is a camaraderie between all city departments; I think all employees have a lot of respect for each other and it’s a very good working environment. This City is a wonderful place and I think anyone who’s interested in working here would definitely love it.”
Riley says she knows her internship will help her with her goal of being a physician.
“HR is all about building a good relationship with your employees so they can trust you. And I think that corresponds a lot with patients and building relationships with them, so they can trust you as their medical provider,” she said. “This has been a great experience.”
To learn more about The City of Palatka and careers, please visit the City’s website at http://www.Palatka-fl.gov