Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc. is building on the success of its Mobile Bike Hub with a new summer internship program that will teach area teens far more than the mechanics of basic bike repairs.
While Mobile Bike Hub interns will learn necessary repair skills, such as how to install brakes and clean and lubricate bikes, they will also gain valuable soft skills needed in the workplace – skills related to customer service and time management.
The Mobile Bike Hub was launched in May 2013 as part of LBWN’s commitment to promoting healthy living and youth education and leadership. The nonprofit organization is focused on community development in Milwaukee’s Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park neighborhoods.
The hub acts as a mobile bike repair shop, roving throughout south side neighborhoods to assist residents with free bike tune-ups and reparations. During its first year of operation, the hub serviced more than 270 bikes.
The launch of LBWN’s summer internship program, slated for mid-June, trails a nine-week winter training program that was also focused on bike maintenance and repair. The program ran from February through the start of April and familiarized six Milwaukee high school students with tools and strategies needed for repairs.
LBWN announced its new internship program during an April 10 graduation ceremony honoring those students who completed winter training.
Two summer interns will be selected from the pool of six winter trainees. The interns, who will each work 13 to 15 hours per week from June through the end of August, will be compensated through funding from the Charles D. Jacobus Family Foundation and State Farm Insurance.
The internship program paves an avenue for LBWN to stimulate community engagement among younger generations, according to Jezamil Vega-Skeels, neighborhood planner at LBWN.
“It’s always good to maintain that relation because they’re going to be the future leaders of the neighborhood,” Vega-Skeels said.
The internship program is also acting as a catalyst in the development of community role models, Vega-Skeels said.
“They’re becoming an example for those other young adults who are coming to get their bikes repaired,” she said.