MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Thursday, the City of Memphis worked to recruit more helping hands in the fight against litter and illegal dumping.

One way the city fights ugly sights is the Public Service Corps. It’s a litter pickup program offering part-time work to adults and ex-offenders working to further their education.

The problem, city leaders say, is that it’s been tough finding workers during the pandemic. Right now, there’s about 20 people in the program.

“We are looking to hire up to 75 individuals to join our Public Service Corps to help our city clean,” the mayor’s special assistant Ken Moody said.

The city hosted a job fair at the Benjamin Hooks library. They held interviews and offered jobs on the spot.

Organizers said the turn out was good. Twenty-five people showed up within the first hour, including Michael Clemmons, who just moved to the city.

“I am currently on disability, and I would like to transfer from unemployment to a full-time employment,” he told WREG.

Mayor Jim Strickland launched the Public Service Corps in 2020 and had hoped to employ hundreds by now. As complaints about illegal dumping and litter pile up, Strickland’s teams said it’s important they make that happen.

“And if that number succeeds, I’m almost certain, because the mayor is committed to blight, will give us more funding to hire even more people,” Moody said.

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