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You Load 52 Tons, Whadda You Get? A Lot, Says Shelby County Officials

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - If you drive the streets of Shelby County, you'd swear that tires grew in the ground here, because they pop up everywhere. For young folks who are going to start a big job, this coming Monday, they'd better get ready.

Say hello to the Shelby County trash warriors. Young men and women who are about to start 8 weeks of work that many people wouldn't do.

The young men and women will get paid between $9 and $11 per hour to clean up roads and areas of Shelby County. They will work in the hottest most humid months of the year. They will have a job and learn the responsibilities of work.

"Some of these young people that we're talking to this morning have never had a paying job before," Mayor Luttrell says.

For young folks between 15 and 21 years of age, any summer job that pays more than the minimum wage is considered sweet, even if the work is considered nasty.

More than 50 tons of trash were picked up during last Summer's program.
It means when these guys wipe the sweat from their eyes after a long day, they'll be able to see the difference they made.

Keshawendra Cobb says, yes, being 15-years-old, the money is good, but, "The most important thing is helping our community out."

A good summer job will also help this community out, helping families financially.

"It is important because I live with my aunt-tee," says 16-year-old Brainard Clark. "I don't have the best circumstance with my family. But my Aunt-tee took me in and I have family there. They can use me having a job because every situation is not perfect, especially in our city."

The program will also teach the kids financial responsibility, showing them how they can manage the money they make this year. 

At the end of the 8 weeks, if these students say they want to do anything in their lives OTHER than picking up trash, Mayor Luttrell says it won’t bother him a bit.

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