City Takes on Downtown Ambassador Program

City of Olympia
Date of Release: January 05, 2018

Kellie Purce Braseth
Strategic Communications Director

City Takes on Downtown Ambassador Program

City to Manage Downtown Ambassador Program

Beginning Jan. 1, the City of Olympia will directly manage the popular Downtown Ambassador and Clean Team Program.

The Olympia City Council decided to make the Downtown hospitality and cleanliness program a part of regular City services at its Nov. 28, 2017, meeting and included funding to support it in the City’s 2018 budget.

“A clean, safe and welcoming Downtown are at the core of our Downtown Strategy,” said Keith Stahley, director of Community, Planning and Development for the City of Olympia.  “The Ambassador Program is central to a successful Downtown experience for our residents and visitors and is an important part of the City’s economic development program.”

While the Council created the Ambassador and Clean Team Program in 2012, the City had contracted with Capital Recovery Center, a local non-profit, to staff and manage the operations of the program. 

The two-member Downtown Ambassadors provide street outreach, business support and hospitality services to residents, businesses, property owners and visitors to downtown.  Members of the Clean Team are responsible for the general upkeep, repair, painting, trash pickup and cleaning in and around the Downtown core.

In keeping with the City of Olympia’s values of providing employees with living wages, the salaries offered Ambassador and Clean Team members exceed Thurston County’s low-income limits and the ALICE Reports Survival Budget.  All employees from the Capital Recovery Center Ambassador and Clean Team Program were offered the opportunity to apply for positions in the City’s program.

Clean Team positions have offered an opportunity for at-risk youth to get work experience and build a path to future gainful employment. To provide support for those employees and assist their success, the City is contracting with Community Youth Services to provide workforce development training to members of the City’s Clean Team.

Over the course of the next month, the Ambassadors will be reconnecting with and reintroducing themselves to Downtown businesses and residents. Ambassador and Clean Team members will fall under the supervision of the City’s Downtown Liaison.

For more on the Ambassador and Clean Team Program, contact Downtown Liaison Mark Rentfrow at 360-570-3798.  The Ambassador hotline can be reached at 360-338-2853 and to contact the Clean Team Lead, call 360-742-2192.