DDA hires summer intern

ALPENA — The Alpena Downtown Development Authority decided a few months ago it wanted to hire an intern to help work on projects in the district and to add a fresh set of eyes to the downtown that can hopefully provide a fresh perspective.

Last week it decided to hire Kingsli Kraft, an Alpena native who recently graduated from the University of Michigan. Kraft has a degree in human ecology and will begin May 21 and will work for up to 15 weeks.

According to DDA Executive Director Anne Gentry, there were more applicants for the position than she thought there would be. She said she advertised with U of M, Michigan State University’s urban design program, and other resources. Gentry said there were about a dozen applicants and she narrowed that to five people who had face-to-face interviews. She said although the other candidates were qualified, Kraft was the right choice.

“She’s from here, left for school, graduated and wants to come back now and she is just the perfect fit I believe,” Gentry said. “With her college background she was exactly what we were looking for.”

Gentry said Kraft will help maintain the downtown to be sure it is clean and inviting, as well as lead other projects that may have been placed on the backburner because Gentry has been involved with more pressing ones.

“She has hands-on experience with some of these types of projects that we want to do and that is really one of the things that sets her apart from some of the other candidates,” she said. “We’re excited to have her and I’m confident she can jump right in with what we want to do.”

The DDA hopes to continue the intern program moving forward and Gentry said it is likely there will be other hires who have never lived or visited Alpena. She said that will be beneficial because the DDA will be able to get an outsiders perspective to the downtown. Gentry said there were applicants from as far away as Virginia Beach, Va,

” I was really impressed by the far reach we had with our candidates and next year maybe we will hire someone from out of the area if they are similarly qualified,” she said.

The DDA will pay Kraft $9.50 per hour for 40 hours a week for up to 15 weeks.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.