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City of Benton Harbor hosting Job Fair on Feb. 24 Opportunities to work on lead service line replacement project available
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 23, 2022
CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112
LANSING, Mich. - The City of Benton Harbor is hosting a Job Fair on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Many of the available jobs will coincide with the city's lead service line replacement project, according to Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad and City Commissioner Ron Singleton, co-chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee.
Muhammad advises applicants to "show up with your best foot forward, and be ready to be hired on the spot."
"In a highly dense job market, where employers are looking for workers, starting with the State of Michigan's contractors, and local business, the city wanted to do our part - to connect residents directly to employers, to help build our community," Muhammad said. "It's a perfect marriage for a community that has historically starved for jobs and employment."
The city expects to accomplish its goal of replacing all lead service lines with a mixture of state and federal funds. The latest major step came last month, when city commissioners hired five contractors to handle the work, and they'll need residents to fill the various jobs needed to keep the project moving, Singleton said.
"I see it as an opportunity to get this community involved in rebuilding itself," Singleton said. "We want to see our citizens involved in some of the work, so I believe it's a win-win opportunity to get the infrastructure fixed, and also get some local people employed. We feel the timing is right."
The Job Fair is being held at City of Benton Harbor City Hall, 200 East Wall Street. Positions are available with the City of Benton Harbor, Berrien County, State of Michigan and other employers. Open positions include contractors, landscapers, public safety (police and fire), public works, parks and recreation, code compliance, finance, assistant clerk, environmental health and many more.
For more information, contact the city at 269- 927-8471. Jobseekers should also visit the following websites:
Free bottled water continues to be provided the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and distributed by local, paid residents of the City of Benton Harbor. Residents are being encouraged to use bottled water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula as part of an accelerated, across-the-board effort to reduce the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water while the city replaces all lead service lines.
To arrange water delivery to homebound or residents without transportation in the City of Benton Harbor, contact 211, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Phones that cannot contact 211 should contact 844-875-9211.
Community volunteers from the following organizations are available to assist City of Benton Harbor residents pick up water at Benton Harbor High School, 870 Colfax Avenue as follows:
Wednesday, Feb. 23
- 12 - 2 p.m. - Volunteers from Purpose Church Ministries
- 4 - 6 p.m. - Volunteers from Purpose Church Ministries
Thursday, Feb. 24
- 12 - 2 p.m. - Volunteers from Ebenezer Baptist Church
- 4 - 6 p.m. - Volunteers from Brotherhood of All Nations
Saturday, Feb. 26
- 12 - 2 p.m. - Volunteers from Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor
- 2 - 4 p.m. - Volunteers from New Covenant Community Baptist Church
Sunday, Feb. 27
- 2 - 4 p.m. - Volunteers from Abundant Life C.O.G.I.C.
- 4 - 6 pm - Volunteers from Brotherhood of All Nations
Monday, Feb. 28
- 12 - 2 p.m. - Volunteers from Abundant Life C.O.G.I.C.
- 4 - 6 p.m. - Volunteers from New Covenant Community Baptist Church
Tuesday, March 1
- 12 - 2 p.m. - Volunteers from Abundant Life C.O.G.I.C.
- 4 - 6 p.m. - Volunteers from Ebenezer Baptist Church
Southwest Community Action Agency, 331 Miller Street, will host self-serve water pickup as follows:
- Wednesday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Monday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Additional dates and locations for bottled water pick up will be added to make sure community needs are met. Information will be posted on Michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe.
The ongoing response in Benton Harbor includes the city, Berrien County Health Department, local community organizations, MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor in 18 months and the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration has provided just under $20 million to Benton Harbor to speed up their service line replacement timeline.
There is no cost to City of Benton Harbor residents for lead service line replacement. To assist with assuring the work can be completed as soon as possible, residents are encouraged to complete the Water Service Line Replacement Agreement available online. Contractors cannot begin work on any property without property owner authorization. Completed forms can be returned to Abonmarche, 95 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 or emailed to email@example.com.
These efforts also include recently approved funds to remove lead from homes in the city. Families living in Benton Harbor can apply for this service by filling out and mailing in an application that is available online. Residents also can call 866-691-5323 to obtain information.
For questions about lead, MDHHS can be reached at 866-691-5323 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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