VOLUNTEERS HELP T.O RUN MORE SMOOTHLY.
For Bob MacMillan, the city's volunteer program was a perfect way to give something to the community from the confines of his wheelchair.
Disabled and unable to hold a full-time job, MacMillan, who turns 31 Thursday, has found a niche dispensing information about Thousand Oaks from the welcome desk at City Hall.
"I just love the people I work with - they're great," said MacMillan, who answers phones and directs customers to various city departments for four hours three days a week. "And it keeps me away from the movie theater."
Now the city is looking for others with MacMillan's helpful spirit who are willing to volunteer at least four hours a week helping the city with clerical, administrative and other duties.
The volunteers help fill personnel gaps caused by recent cutbacks, said Denese Wilson Cox, principal human resources analyst who coordinates City Hall's volunteer program.
"We're like a lot of employers," Cox said. "Because of the budget squeeze we haven't been able to hire as many people as we need. We've had to do more with less."
The city's volunteer program - distinct from other programs in the Thousand Oaks Library, the Civic Arts Plaza theaters and the Thousand Oaks Police Department - has been in place about a year, running with an average of 15 people at any given time, Cox said.
"The No. 1 need we have right now is for clerical and administrative help," she said. "All departments are looking for help."
Hours would vary, though the city is asking for a minimum commitment of four hours a week.
City Hall's volunteer program is particularly useful for those looking for a way to break into a career in city government in that it provides direct insights into how government works, Cox said.
For example, there was one recent college graduate who had been interested in a career in personnel and volunteered to work in the city's Human Resources department about six hours a week.
"We tried to give him a lot of tasks in a lot of different areas of personnel to gain experience," Cox said. "I think we did, too. I think we were real successful in explaining and giving him experience in a lot of areas of personnel - how things work, how government works."
For MacMillan, though, the program gives him an opportunity to see new faces while helping the city run more smoothly. "I just want to talk to people," he said.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications for City Hall volunteers can be obtained at the city's Human Resources Department at City Hall in the Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. For more information, call Denese Wilson Cox at (805) 449-2140.
Box HOW TO APPLY (See text)
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jan 17, 1996|
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