Working for the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB) was more than just a job for Robin Webb. It was the foundation for her professional career and the start of lifelong friendships. Robin says she was fortunate to have been hired as a Senior Account Clerk in 1983, working alongside Chris Wilbur and Carol Wilson to manage payroll and prepare financial statements for the IYB and Greater Ithaca Activities Center. During this time, the three of them formed a tight-knit team, quickly learning the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and customer service.
As part of the IYB, Robin worked to provide quality programs, often with limited resources and facilities. For example, when asbestos was found in the Old Tin Can building, she shared that they had to relocate to a temporary location in a strip mall. The YB was then housed in the City Hall Annex until the current building was completed in 1987. Despite challenges like this, they still continued to provide programs and services to residents.
The IYB was not just a place of work for her but also a place of learning. When Common Council decided to buy each department a computer, Robin was one of the few staff members who had any training in Computer Science, so she worked across departments to decide how to use the new equipment, which led her to discover how much she enjoyed Information Technology.
Robin also shares that her 16 years of working at the IYB gave her a unique perspective on customer service, which she carried with her for the next 21 years as part of the county and state government. The teamwork and collaboration required to provide quality programs at the IYB were addictive and became a cornerstone of her professional career, and she is thankful that her initial work with people started at the local level in Ithaca.
Today, 40 years later, she is still in touch with her former colleagues from the IYB and they often meet for lunch and to provide support to one another. The experience has taught her that building professional relationships is just as important as building professional skills.
For Robin, the IYB was more than just a place of work. It was a place of learning, growth, and lifelong friendships. Her time at the Youth Bureau has been invaluable in shaping her approach to teamwork, collaboration, and customer service.