Friday, July 14, 2017
You know you’re lucky when the hottest week of the summer happens to be the same week that you are working indoors! I spent Week 7 with the administration division and with only one division left to work with, I am putting the pieces together and truly learning (hands-on!) why each division is truly important to Park Service infrastructure. Throughout the five days in the division, I worked with/shadowed six different employees. Rotating around, I was able to get refreshing material through the particular divisions: facility management, IT, administrative duties, HR duties, budget/contracting, historical building leasing, VIP (volunteer-in-parks) programming, and so much more.
When I began with administration on Monday, I was told that this particular division interacts with all of the others the most. Now that it is Friday, I can say that I understand why this is true. Administration works with all of the divisions in a number of areas, especially in budgeting. I spent two sessions with the budget specialist this week so that I could truly learn what it is all about. During the week, I went in-depth with the folks in the office to see how the park could not function without them, much like every division, respectively.
A portion of the week was spent with the assistant to the superintendent, in which I learned about leasing of historic buildings. I found this subject particularly interesting, as I feel that the revitalization of Yorktown would be incredibly beneficial to Yorktown. Super-basically put: the Visitor Center is in the hub of the Yorktown site, and on one side is the battlefield tour roads and on the other is colonial Yorktown. It is a small village scattered with streets and beautiful structures that hold major historical significance. Leasing out particular buildings for businesses would complement the homes and bring visitors through the town. Leasing is new to Colonial National Historical Park, but it’s definitely promising and definitely something I would love to witness in the future!
Another promising area of the administration division is the VIP program. I spent Friday with the VIP coordinator and learned that Colonial has an extremely decorated history of awards in the program. Interestingly enough, Colonial has nearly double the amount of volunteers at the park than they do full-time employees. All of the volunteers work for particular divisions and have contributed innumerous hours and labor to the park. Without them, the park surely could not function at as high of a capacity that it does. The same could be said for the administration division. If you work at this park in any other division, you will work with them before you know it!