Apply early to nail down a summer job
Apr 07, 2012 (Sun Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
High school and college kids: It's not too early to look for a summer job.
Lifeguard, retail clerk, camp counselor and park employee are some of the jobs teenagers and young adults are most likely to get.
Florida Atlantic University student Jenna Damiano, 19, recently took a job at a store at Town Center in Boca Raton with the plan that she would be employed this summer. "It's easy to find a job," said Damiano, who said she has had two jobs during the school year.
But Denisse Perez, 22, of West Palm Beach said that with no job experience, she's finding it difficult to find even a retail job. The FAU student also hasn't had classes yet in her chosen field of computer design, so she doesn't think she would qualify for an internship, either.
Jobs have been difficult to find in the past few years, with unemployment at 32 percent for 16- to-19-year-olds in the Fort Lauderdale metro area in 2010, the most recent data available from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, the rate remains about 24 percent for 16-to-19-year-olds, but fell to 14 percent for 20-to-24-year-olds in February, compared to 15 percent a year ago.
Some students are looking for summer income, while others are seeking the hands-on experience that comes with working in their potential field through an internship. To lend a hand, South Florida's workforce agencies are gearing up for summer by matching college students and recent graduates with employers online.
Palm Beach County's "Success" listing service at http://www.pbcalliance.com is designed to match students and recent college graduates with summer internships.
"At least one study shows that up to half of employers would like to see an internship on a student's resume," said Ike Powell, director of youth services for Workforce Alliance, the county's employment center.
Broward County doesn't have a matching program for college students, but county employers list internships with EmployFlorida.com, as well as part-time jobs, said Mason Jackson, president of Workforce One.
Currently, 22 internships are listed within 10 miles and 514 part-time positions within 25 miles. Jobs as pool attendants, lifeguards and summer camp counselors are listed, as well as internships at Wells Fargo and Enterprise Rent-a-Car, CBSSports.com and Motorola.
Young people can find summer jobs through online sites, including Snagajob.com, groovejob.com and teens4hire. Local student jobs also can be found at broward.org/careers.
Fort Lauderdale-based Citrix Systems said it hired 40 interns last summer and plans to hire about the same number this year. Interns come from universities throughout the country, to work in divisions that include engineering, operations and sales. The paid internships run between 8 and 12 weeks, the company said.
For economically disadvantaged youth ages 14 to 21, there is a local jobs program in Palm Beach County that fills up quickly. For more information, attend an orientation session at any Workforce Alliance center.
Broward's summer youth program is already at capacity. Workforce One had more than 4,000 applicants for 600 spots, Jackson said.
Terri Roher, who advises high school students at College Academy, on the Davie campus of Broward College, said that with financial aid shrinking, the need for youth jobs is acute. She hopes an improving economy will bring employers to the school.
"I'm praying that what I hear on the news will somehow trickle down to McDonald's and The Gap," she said.
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