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Businesses looking to hire high school students

According to U.S Bureau of Labor statistics, the share of 16 to 19 years old’s who are working hasn’t been this high since 2008.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - According to U.S Bureau of Labor statistics, the share of 16 to 19 years old’s who are working hasn’t been this high since 2008. In June 2008 3.8 percent of those who were 16 to 19 years old were working; April 2021 numbers match that.

For teenagers who are looking to land that part time job or full time job, this may be the best Summer yet to do so.

With “Now hiring” signs covering the nation for fast food and retail businesses, teens can jump into the workforce early.

Last Summer when teens were hunting for jobs COVID-19 restrictions made it quite difficult. With businesses going from hardly staffed to implement social distancing, adjust hours or even close for some time due to the virus, to now looking to become fully staffed once again.

“The good news is, they want to go to work, right? And so, there’s a lot of opportunity out there,” Melanie Hill, Southeast Alabama Works! program manager, said.

The Southeast Alabama area has 4,092 job opening available.

“Teens can fill a lot of those and they’re looking for part-time and they’re looking for teenagers that they’ll work around their schedules even when they get back to school and everything,” Hill said.

By not working entry level jobs, people miss out on polishing some qualities, according to what Hill has been told.

“I do a lot of training on generational management and one of the things that I continually hear is the Millennials and Gen-Z coming in without the soft skills,” Hill said.

Hill said taking these opportunities to work, will change that. Allowing teenagers to build those communication skills and their resume at the same time.

“Volunteer work is good and all of the community stuff is really good, but I think the perfect mix is having a part time job with all of the other and I think employers are really attracted to that,” Hill said.

Several businesses are offering hiring bonuses, higher wages or even a high school ambassador program, like Eagle Eye Outfitters.

“They have to just be able to work somewhere between 15 and 20 hours a week,” Mark Anderson, owner, said.

Students who work through the entire school year cycle will earn a $500 scholarship through the high school ambassador program. The program is for mostly juniors and seniors, working with their school co-op schedule.

Anderson said they have also revamped their salary structure.

“We have four full time positions and about six part-time positions we are looking to fill right now,” Anderson said.

Now starting part time employees at $9.00 an hour and earning a one dollar raise after one year. Full time positions are paid $12.00 to $14.00 an hour.

“We want to help develop them,” Anderson said. “We want to take those interpersonal skills, develop those to where whether they stay here and work three, and four, and five years, or whether they go off to another career that we are able to prepare them for the workforce in a way that would be beneficial for them.”

On Wednesday Eagle Eye Outfitters gave out eight scholarships to high school seniors who worked with them over the last year, now they are looking for future recipients.

Click here to apply.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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