Posted July 23, 2012
Dearborn encourages local job candidates
On July 18, three lifelong Dearborn residents were sworn-in as firefighters after earlier participating in the Dearborn Fire Department’s Cadet Program, which helps local students prepare for public safety careers.
The three join two other successful Cadet Program graduates hired by the Fire Department in August, 2010.
The Cadet Program was initiated six years ago by Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. and then-Fire Chief Nazih Hazime as a way to attract Dearborn youth to firefighting careers.
The local students participate to gain valuable training and experience while they pursue the necessary education and certifications at fire academies, which can take three years.
The Cadet Program is similar in concept and operation to the Police Department’s Intern Program, which also was initiated by Mayor O’Reilly, along with Police Chief Ron Haddad.
The intern program recruits young people from the Dearborn community who have an interest in public safety.
Four graduates from Fordson and Edsel Ford high schools are active in the internship program, which began in July 2010, and the police plan to have Dearborn High graduates soon. Another two local students will start as unpaid interns in the fall.
These programs support the extensive recruiting efforts pursued by the Dearborn Fire and Police departments.
This outreach includes recruiting at more than two dozen hiring fairs each year, such as those presented by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Henry Ford Community College and the Arab Center for Economic and Social Services.
They complement other programs aimed at local young people, like the Dearborn Explorers Club. Seven former Explorers are now Dearborn police officers.
The department also hosts the annual Youth Police Academy for outstanding local teens interested in police work, in partnership with the Dearborn Public Schools and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
Despite the obvious success of this outreach, the Congress of Arab American Organizations and the ADC recently have announced an investigation into the City’s hiring practices to determine if discrimination is preventing otherwise qualified individuals from joining the City’s workforce.
All of the City of Dearborn’s positions are posted with job descriptions and the minimum qualifications necessary.
The City’s hiring process and practices are overseen by the Civil Service Commission, a public body comprising Dearborn residents with expertise in Human Resources. They are Margaret Schaefer, Bob Schneiders, James Peitz, Michael Berry and Mohamad Chehab.
No claims of discriminatory hiring practices have been brought to the Commission, nor have any claims of hiring discrimination been filed with state or federal agencies.
While Mayor O’Reilly is willing to meet with representatives from CAAO and ADC to discuss any specific concerns, he cautions against the practice of making highly-charged allegations, then seeking evidence afterwards to support them.Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. (right) and Fire Chief Joseph Murray (second from right) witness the swearing-in of three new Dearborn firefighters, all of whom participated in the Dearborn Fire Department’s Cadet Program. Shown here (from left) are City Clerk Kathleen Buda, and Probationary Firefighters Timothy Duda, Matthew Bajjey and Matthew Allen Ferrell.