The Mobile Bike Hub Wheels in Two Summer Interns
Jorian Giorno wanted to support his local Milwaukee community by empowering people to live a healthier lifestyle. “I give people the ability to do what I enjoy most, be on their bicycles, out cruising around,” Giorno said.
Giorno works for Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN), which developed an idea for a mobile bike hub that serves as a traveling repair shop, riding around town fixing bikes and promoting bike safety.
During 2013, its first year, the mobile bike hub serviced 270 bikes. The service vehicle, an adult tricycle designed with bins full of tools and supplies, engages community members and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for local youth.
LBWN’s initiative then started to incorporate mentoring and volunteering, allowing local kids to give back, learn and develop new skills. In the summer of 2014, two interns joined the inventive LBWN mobile bike hub. These interns not only learned about bicycle mechanics and became equipped to repair/replace parts, but also learned administrative skills such as customer service and time management.
This program provides a unique opportunity to empower the youth of the community, while helping them master new skills. Jezamil Vega-Skeels, neighborhood planner at LBWN, notes, “It’s always good to maintain that relationship because they’re going to be the future leaders of the neighborhood.”
The interns were selected from seven students representing two neighborhood high schools after completing a nine week training class on bike repairs and maintenance this past winter. The two interns worked 15 hours per week and were compensated through the Charles D. Jacobus Family Foundation and State Farm.
Giorno provided each of the participants with a reference letter to better equip them for their professional endeavors. “I want to do as much for you and your future outside of this program as I can,” Giorno told his young participants.
LBWN builds strong and healthy communities in the Milwaukee neighborhoods of Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park. It is a diverse community where neighbors come together with LBWN to contribute to the neighborhoods’ continued growth. With 33% of the population under the age of 18, the Mobile Bike Hub serves as a model for how youth can invest their talents and service to the community.
This program exemplifies how a community can make role models of citizens young and old. “They’re becoming an example for those other young adults who are coming to get their bikes repaired,” Vega-Skeels said.
Because of the tremendous efforts of Layton Boulevard Mobile Bike Hub it was selected as the 2014 Mayor’s Design Award. This award has recognized design excellence throughout the city of Milwaukee since 1997. Projects are selected for contributing to the character of their surroundings, adding value to their neighborhood and positively influencing the urban fabric.
The Mayor’s Design Award was presented to Layton Boulevard Mobile Bike Hub on May 21, 2014 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Additionally, the mobile bike hub is a finalist for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development and Innovation (MANDI), commonly referred to as the “Oscars” of community development in Milwaukee.
This program hopes to spur economic development and infuse the community with vibrant life. Find more information about the Mobile Bike Hub.