Ballenas Secondary students

Students bring tourism service to the people in downtown Parskville

The Parksville Downtown Business Association has hired two youth ambassadors for the summer

CARLI BERRY

news@pqbnews.com

The Parksville DowntownBusiness Association acquired two students this summer for a pilot project.

The Grade 12 students will be promoting downtown businesses and providing tourism services.

“There’s no downtown visitor center so we’re going to bring the service to the people,” Pamela Bottomley, executive director for the PDBA, said.

They’ll be answering questions from locals and visitors alike, Bottomley said.

Aomi Jokoji said the PDBA provided him with a different opportunity than the hospitality jobs available for students in the area and the other student this year, Austin Smith, said: “It gives you a chance to contribute to the community.”

The PDBA looked for summer students in the local secondary schools, Bottomley said.

“I think it’s good for secondary students to get a taste of the work world,” she said.

The students will also be tracking pedestrian movement around the downtown area and mapping wi-fi spots.

“That’s one of our longer term goals, is to try and improve the pedestrian friendliness downtown.” Bottomley said.

“You’re working, not only in the very, you know, business improvement atmosphere… but working with the public… you get the experience with talking to people” Smith said.

The students received training from the visitor’s centre last week and will also be working with the Chamber of Commerce, Bottomley said.

The students will also be tracking what questions they’re asked so the PDBA will be able to better understand the business opportunities available.

The students started on June 22 and will work until Aug. 28.

Bottomley said she hopes to continue the project and eventually hire two teams of summer students. The students will be wearing orange ball caps and bright green shirts around Parksville’s downtown. “Look out for the bright orange hats,” Smith said. “You can’t miss them.”

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