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Pueblo Workforce Center

Pueblo Zoo

Workforce Challenge

The Pueblo Zoo depends a great deal on volunteer help. Volunteers come and go and it can be difficult to retain good, dependable people. "When we’re trying to get a new program off the ground or accomplish a big project, it sometimes seems that we’re treading water and not making much progress because we just don’t have the manpower necessary," said a staff member.

This summer the zoo wanted to make the Ranch section of the zoo more interactive and guest friendly by adding a person to supervises guests while they feed rye crackers to the goats and sheep, and by adding a small gift shop where sunscreen, water, hats and bug spray could be purchased without going back to the front of the zoo where the main shop is located. These seemed like simple projects but the zoo was not making much progress until they made contact with the Pueblo Workforce YouthWorks program.

Workforce Solution

The Pueblo Workforce YouthWorks program provided paid summer work opportunities to the youth, filling positions that the zoo would normally have had to rely on volunteers to fill.

YouthWorks recommended young adults that were the right fit for the open positions, and Pueblo Workforce completed all the necessary paperwork and background checks before placing the participant, which helped the zoo get them into the jobs more quickly. YouthWorks also provided them with the proper attire needed to work at the zoo.

Outcomes & Benefits

"We could not be happier with the five young adults that the Pueblo Workforce YouthWorks program brought to us," said the Zoo's staff supervisor. "Two were able to help our overworked and understaffed grounds keeping crew during a busy summer of gardening and maintaining the cleanliness of our grounds. Two others were able to make the second gift shop a reality by allowing us to schedule them and knowing that we would have a stable schedule for our new shop. And one of our newest participants has been working hard in the Ranch and adding to our guests' enjoyment of the area."

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