Teens search for summer employment at school fair | SteamboatToday.com

Teens search for summer employment at school fair

— They are in the local stores, at the pool and taking a break at the noon whistle. They are local high school students and summer is their time to work and make some money.

The Colorado Workforce Center hosted its first-ever summer job fair for Steamboat Springs High School students Wednesday for that very reason

“It’s another resource for employers and gives students opportunities,” Kristine Johnson of the Workforce Center said.

A diverse roster of employers, from fast food restaurants to Safeway to construction firms, was represented at the fair. Most of the businesses have hired students before and said it has generally worked out. There is a labor shortage in Steamboat and high school students present good labor options.

“It’s been very challenging,” Petra Norland of Steamboat Resorts said. “This season has been the toughest.”

Money is the motivating factor, but students look beyond that in their job hunts.

“You’ve got to like what you’re doing,” said Adam Schwall, who works at Howelsen Hill and needs money to pay for many of his U.S. Ski Team expenses.

Tom Fox of Fox Construction said he has some students interested and suspects it is because of his $10 an hour wage. He hired 11 high school students last year and was very pleased with the crew. He wants to hire more students, although he makes it clear to them that it’s a job and they have to take it seriously and be accountable.

“I look at it as an educational opportunity. As an individual and as a businessman in town, I can give kids an opportunity to see what the world is like outside of high school and outside of their parents,” he said.

Students said they use their money to buy extra fun things, but many have eyes to buying a car or paying for the one they already have.

“I’m driving next year and I want to get a car,” said job fair attendee Ashley Idzahl.

Students said finding a job isn’t hard, but finding the right job might be.

“It’s easy to get a job at Wendy’s, but if you try to get a job at a nice store, it’s harder,” freshman Katie Carter said.

Carter said she has walked into stores with “Help Wanted” signs, but when they learn her age they tell her there are no positions available.

The Community Youth Corps, run by Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreational Services, is looking for a certain type of student.

“It’s for people who work hard and want to give back to the community,” Rebecca Hanson of Community Youth Corps said.

The students have to go through an interview process, answering questions about themselves and why they want to be in the youth corps, she said.

This is the first summer job fair and Johnson of the Workforce said they are going to track students who have made matches here to if it was effective.

“We’re going to see if this was a service to the students and the employers,” she said. “We’ll do it bigger and better next year. It depends on the feedback.”

— To reach Jennifer Bartlett call 871-4204 or e-mail jbartlett@amigo.net

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