Employment is for Everyone | 06880

Every Main Street landlord (and their tenant) is responsible for cleaning the sidewalk in front of their property.

Once a week, a town street sweeper clears the road.

That’s it.

If you’re wondering why parts of downtown look a bit grotty, there’s your answer.

But if you’ve noticed a change recently, there’s a reason.

Dylan Curran.

The 2020 Staples High School graduate is the first “Downtown Ambassador.” That’s the new position created by the Westport Downtown Association, in collaboration with the town’s Department of Human Services.

Since May, Dylan has been responsible for keeping Main Street clean. But he’s also the WDA’s public face, bringing smiles to shoppers and shop owners with his broad smile and optimistic attitude.

Dylan Curran: Looking good, while making Westport look good.

The project is part of Westport’s Employment is for Everyone” (E4E) program. A collaboration between the town and its Commission People with Disabilities, the goal is encourage and support local businesses to recruit, hire and advance people with disabilities, while creating a disability-friendly, inclusive culture throughout Westport.

The Downtown Ambassador program is funded by the Westport Downtown Association.

Every Monday and Friday, Dylan patrols Main Street. Armed with a bucket and trash stick, he gets right to work.

“It gives individuals a chance for employment, and there’s no better stage for that than downtown,” says WDA president Maxxwell Crowley.

“Everyone sees how hard-working, dedicated and personable someone like Dylan is, and how much he cares for the town. He’s already become a familiar face.”

From left: Westport Downtown Association president Maxx Crowley, Downtown Ambassador Dylan Curran, WDA operations employee Sean, and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker. She connected Crowley with Human Services director Elaine Daignault, for the E4E program.

The WDA might add another day to the schedule, and hire at least one more Downtown Ambassador.

“It’s a win-win-win,” Crowley says.

Main Street looks much better. Dylan has a job he enjoys. And everyone who sees the ambassador — working hard and smiling — smiles right back.

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Every Main Street landlord (and their tenant) is responsible for cleaning the sidewalk in front…