EL DORADO, Ark. (8/7/20) — The summer work program in El Dorado is officially back up and running after the city struggled to determine how they would fund the project due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With help from one of El Dorado’s largest companies city officials are excited to announce this partnership.
“Murphy USA is actually sponsoring the financial part,” Willie McGhee, El Dorado city councilman said. “The city of El Dorado is sponsoring the supervision part.”
This is the second year for the program but the cornavirus pandemic caused its later than expected start.
According to a statement, the council looked at its budget and didn’t believe they would be able to fund it this year.
They also didn’t want to go into the reserve and were thinking about going before the El Dorado Works Board to request funding for the program but President and CEO of Murphy USA, Andrew Clyde, contacted Councilman McGhee to discuss community-involvement opportunities for the company.
“We met and had lunch and had a great discussion,” Councilman McGhee said. “One of the things we brought up was our summer program with the young people and also the beautification of our city. When he contacted me, I had no idea what we were going to talk about.”
Through the summer program, 20 young adults ages 17 and above are given a chance to work various jobs across the city and get paid for their work.
Murphy USA will be the lead financial sponsor for the program. They will pay Manpower Staffing Agency who facilitates hiring the workers and will issue them the checks. The city will be in charge of the the day to day work tasks and training.
Councilman McGhee, one of the visionaries behind the program, says Murphy USA not only helped the city financially but the future of El Dorado.
“They saw a need they felt they could help,” McGhee said. “It doesn’t matter what title you have we all can help our city for the better.”
The program is expected to last until October and will start again next summer. Officials believe the impact of the program goes beyond its summer months annual term.
“We want to point out that some of the kids that worked last year got some permanent jobs through Manpower,” Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer said. “Not only will they have an income but they will be able to support the city financially and get a lot more pride in the city and share that with other young people.”
Murphy USA is already a community advocate. They are a national partner of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has donated more than $3 million to the United Way of Union County over the last seven years.
“Murphy USA has its own identity and they already do a lot in our community,” Councilman McGhee said. “I’m hoping this will be a lasting partnership that keeps this program even after I’m off the city council and dead and gone.”