Did you know we have the local talent to keep infrastructure projects right here at home?
The city could set aside a number of infrastructure projects specifically for our post-secondary institutions such as NAIT or MacEwan University. These projects could include anything from designing street lights in a developing neighborhood, installing green technology on city infrastructure, maintaining certain city vehicles, or setting up a city-wide public service announcement radio broadcast.
Youth and arts projects partnering with the city are not a foreign concept. The hand-blown glass public art on top of the light posts on Capital Boulevard (108 St) was a Percent for Art project created and fabricated by Edmonton glass artist Keith Walker with participation by students of Highlands Junior High School.
“Working with the Capital Boulevard project team and Edmonton Arts Council, Keith created more than 200 individually crafted blown glass elements for the finials. He also custom designed an assembly system of stainless steel screws and caps so City crews could easily and efficiently install them. The artist included a community outreach component in this project by working with art students at Highlands Junior High School to assemble all the elements.” Eva Marie Clarke, Edmonton Arts Council
The sculpted bike racks along the Metro Line was an Edmonton Arts Council project with a design by NAIT and MacEwan students Alina Cross, Christopher Rodrigues and Mark Winget.
Other than art, students in these programs are highly talented to be accepted into the programs, and as such should not have their talent underestimated. A partnership with the city on special projects should be considered.
Allowing our youth to build projects set aside for them helps give real world experience, boost local economy, keeps talent at home, and builds the profile of our local institutions.