Places to go for students seeking jobs

June 13, 1994|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Sun Staff Writer

Thirteen-year-old Camille Parsons has one. Meaghan Kyle, 15, wants one.

As the school year winds down, many teen-agers are preparing to begin summer jobs or are looking for work. Some want extra money and experience; others, just something to do.

For many teen-agers seeking work, government agencies can provide help.

In Maryland this summer, more than 9,074 federally funded jobs for teen-agers will be offered through the state agencies, said Albert Wilson of the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development's Office of Employment Training.

Bryan Rawlings, youth coordinator for the Howard County Employment Training Center, said the center will hire 130 to 140 teen-agers this summer, up slightly from the 125 youths hired last year.

Although the June 1 deadline to apply has passed, Mr. Rawlings said he still will accept applications. He can't guarantee acceptance, he said, and applications received after the deadline will go on a waiting list.

"At this point we have not filled any positions," he said, adding that staffers will wait until classes end to interview the teen-agers. The jobs pay the minimum wage of $4.25 an hour for six hours a day, or 30 hours a week.

Mr. Rawlings has received 200 applications for the jobs, which last six weeks and range from camp counselor to file clerk to library aide. To qualify, a teen-ager must be at least 14 years old and a county resident.

Also this summer, the Columbia Association expects to hire 300 to 400 young adults for jobs as life guards and camp personnel, said Charlotte Souder, personnel manager.

Applications were due by Easter, and the Columbia Association does not have any job vacancies.

Those hired will work at the group's four tennis clubs, 10 miscellaneous camps or 24 pools, where 30,000 people flock during the summer, Ms. Souder said.

Gary J. Arthur, bureau chief of recreation for the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, said nearly 30 jobs will be available for youths 16 or older to work for minimum wage as group leader aides and concessions staff in the department's summer camp programs.

Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, but his department will continue to take applications in case a vacancy occurs, he said.

The recreation department was licensed by the state in child care last year and cannot allow those under the age of 18 to work certain jobs dealing with young children. So, in addition to the 30 positions, the department will hire 150 qualified people 18 and older as summer camp leaders.

Mr. Rawlings said that because the economy is improving, more youth jobs are available. In 1992, his center offered 100 summer jobs for teens, double the 50 offered in 1991.

"The funds were not there" and were redirected elsewhere during the recession, he said.

Employers and workers benefit from the summer program, he said.

"It gives them [the youths] a firsthand look at how academics relate to work," Mr. Rawlings said. "The major benefit is that they find out exactly what they may want to do later."

The jobs could also lead to other employment opportunities, he said.

"I think the employer really has a chance at this point to buy into the development of the work force of the future," Mr. Rawlings said.

Meanwhile, students Camille and Meaghan are preparing for summer. At the end of June, Camille will return to the Backstage Dance Studio in Columbia, where she will be a student counselor until August.

Meaghan said she has not seriously searched for a job but wants one in drama or music. She said she wouldn't mind volunteering but would rather get paid.

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