Teens face tough summer job market

April 21, 2011 at 10:04 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The massive budget deficits that are crippling federal, state and local government agencies across the country are expected to have a negative impact on the employment prospects for teenagers this summer, according to a job research firm.

In fact, according to an annual teen summer employment outlook from outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, summer hiring among teenagers is likely to see little improvement from last year’s historic lows. In 2010, teen job seekers experienced the weakest summer job market in decades, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But it’s not all bad news, at least locally.
Several businesses will be hiring this summer and now is the time for teenagers to make the rounds and turn in those applications.

Managers from both Domino’s Pizza places in St. Charles say they will need drivers this summer and urged those interested to apply online now at www.careers.dominos.com.

Frank’s Supervalu in Des Allemands will also need workers this summer as will Luling clothing store Rue 21, whose manager said teens may come in now to fill out an application.

St. Charles Parish spokeswoman Renee Allemand Simpson said that several governmental departments hire teen workers during the summer. One of those jobs includes driving around the parish to verify business addresses for the Emergency Operations Center.

Both the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Animal Shelter also hire teen workers during the summer as do some government offices.

Most of those jobs fill up quickly and Simpson said that interested teens need to visit the personnel department at the St. Charles Parish courthouse to obtain applications.
Student workers are also used in the public school system, but spokeswoman Rochelle Cancienne-Touchard said all of the summer workers have already been hired.

The teens in the best shape are those that get a head start on the summer hiring process. Many students work after school just to make sure they have a job in the summer.
“We don’t need any extra workers during the summer because all of our teen employees work during school to guarantee a summer job with us,” Shea Majoria, of Majoria’s Supermarket, said.

Stanley Burkhardt, the manager of Gre’Aud Fine Foods in Norco, agreed.

“We have a full crew now,” he said. “Most of our workers are Destrehan students who work while they are in school and continue working in the summer.”

Vince Waguespack, a manager at Luling’s Sicily’s Pizza, said that about half of the buffet’s current employees are high school students.

“We might hire some additional workers in the summer, but we haven’t been open during a summer in Luling yet so we just don’t know how busy we’re going to be,” Waguespack said.
Teens can get some help in finding a job from the River Parish Business and Career Solutions Center. The center is now accepting applications from those between the ages of 14-21 and is looking to fill between 30-40 jobs across the parish.

“Once they submit an application, we use some factors to determine their eligibility such as income level and school performance,” Abbie Cooper, the youth case manager, said. “Then we have a one-week enrichment course where we show them how to interact in the workplace. When they finish the course, we try to place them in jobs.”

The application deadline for the program is April 29. Teens and young adults may apply at the center’s Luling location at 737 Paul Maillard Road.

Teens may also try one of the many fast-food chains around the parish, who typically hire students during the summer.

One of the main keys to finding a job is to apply at several different businesses and not to get frustrated by failure.

“Many teens give up after applying to 10 or 12 jobs, concluding that ‘no one is hiring teens this summer,’” John Challenger, the chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said. “Chances are good that there are more than 10 or 12 employers in your city or town, so it is necessary to cast a wider net.

“There are many summer job opportunities outside the confines of the local mall.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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