More students seek summer jobsMOORHEAD, Minn. – Summertime is a time of relaxation, vacation and for some teens, a time to work.
By: By Josie Clarey, Forum Communications
MOORHEAD – Summertime is a time of relaxation, vacation and for some teens, a time to work.
Sarah Miller, Moorhead High School counselor, said she’s seen more students looking for jobs over the years.
“I know there’s been more and more students, because of the economy, are looking for jobs and looking for work,” Miller said. “Younger and younger kids seem to feel the importance of getting a job and income.”
Clay Whittlesey, director of recreation for the Fargo Parks District, said summer workers have changed over the years.
“The younger kids are more polished, the communication skills are better than 10 years ago,” the director of 20 years said. “Kids now are just so much different and have so much more going for them.”
The McClatchy Newspapers reported the latest federal statistics show that unemployment among 16-to-24-year-olds nationwide, though lower than this time last year, is still significantly higher than that of the rest of the population. Last month, for instance, 17.6 percent of the young people seeking jobs couldn’t find them, compared with 7.6 percent of those age 25 or older.
Amid national economic insecurity, Marty Aas, area manager of Jobs Service North Dakota, said 2011 will be tight, but better than the last two years.
“When the recession hit in 2009, a lot of people were laid off, it was tough to find jobs,” Aas said.
The Fargo Park District hires between 200 and 300 workers for the summer, with most of the positions filled by early May. Jobs are available first to the previous year’s work force and then to anybody.
“I always encourage young people to start working,” Whittlesey said. “Many of them start at 14 and work here all the way through college.”
Despite a gloomy national outlook, Terri Manske, service supervisor at Hornbacher’s Northport, said the store has already hired on at least eight more people for the summer.
“We are always looking for baggers and checkers. It’s constant all the time,” Manske said. “A lot of kids will start and it’s not what they thought. They’re going to quit for various reasons.”
While reasons for getting a job as a teen might vary, one common denominator exists among most: spending money.
Brianna England, a Moorhead High School senior, started at Hornbacher’s just after turning 16. She said she initially applied for the job so she could have her own income.
“I don’t like asking my parents for money, so it’s nice to just be able to have my own money to spend,” said England, who is now 18. “I earned it, so I don’t have to ask them all the time.”
Sam Klukken, 17, started work last summer at Gloria Jean’s Coffees in north Fargo. Klukken said he wanted a job to buy a sound system for his car.
Klukken, who got the first job he applied for, said the job search was an easy process for him.
“I was out long boarding and I saw the sign in the window, and I thought, ‘You know, I should grab an app,’” he said.
Klukken said he turned in the application, was interviewed and offered the job.
While there are challenges to employing younger people to work, Manske said there are numerous benefits for the teens she supervises at Hornbacher’s.
“We really focus on customer service, talking to our customers,” Manske said. “They (teens) go through life texting. The art of conversation is getting lost, so we really stress conversation. It’s one of our number one things we discuss.”
For England, her almost three years of work not only made her more responsible, but helped her sharpen important social skills.
“This job really helped me with interacting with strangers,” she said. “You don’t really interact with people you don’t know very often when you’re younger.”
England added having a job is also a first step toward her future in the workplace.
“It’s just what’s expected of you in society, you have to have a job, so you might as well start early and start learning,” she said.
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Readers can reach Forum reporter Josie Clarey at (701) 241-552.