Local teens get a boost looking for summer work

Kathryn Turner
Summit Daily News
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

For many teens, it’s a scary, yet necessary, rite of passage: finding a summer job.

But for those Summit County teens intimidated – and maybe even a little unsure of how to present themselves to potential employers, especially in what is still a competitive economy – the Frisco Workforce Center wants to help.

The center is connecting local teens ages 16-21 with employers – and vice-versa – through the 2012 Governor’s Summer Job Hunt. The program, first established in 1981, aims to not only to unite the two parties, but give youth a chance to learn, put skills to use and see firsthand how a business operates.

“We hope our local business owners will make a place for young people by providing job opportunities – especially for juniors and seniors who will soon be graduating and looking for full-time, permanent work experience,” said Jill Seal of the Frisco Workforce Center. “We hope businesses will see ways to create opportunities for youth by making them partners in community development.”

The Frisco Workforce Center offers assistance with resume writing, interviewing skills and job-search strategies, all things Seal said will give youth a leg-up when going for a job. Seal will work with the teens, give them pointers and even conduct mock interviews.

It’s crucial that when they go out looking for a job “they go out ready and professional,” Seal said.

Teen job experience also helps prepare youth for the future, Seal said. It gives them “good, basic work skills,” which built upon, “will help you in the future with any job.”

In addition to enforcing successful work habits like keeping to schedules and staying organized, the experience teaches young people the value of commitment, about gaining confidence and working with others.

And, it can lead to a career path. Some teens might discover something they want to pursue – and what kind of education they need to get there – while others, a route they might want to avoid.

Either way, “it gives them a good way to connect with education, to see why it’s valuable,” Seal said.

Summer unemployment for youth has almost doubled since the recession. Even as the economic recovery continues, most teens will struggle this summer to get the work experience they need, according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment.

But, things seem to be looking up, according to Bill Thoennes, department spokesperson. There are more jobs listed state-wide this year than at the same time last year, although “it’s always hard to say how many of those would be teenager jobs.”

There are currently 300 teenagers signed up at the Frisco Workforce Center with the Summer Job Hunt Program, Seal said, and they’re hoping to find more. Seal and Thoennes both said they are “cautiously optimistic” that every teen who wants a job will find one.

The most typical jobs Seal sees for teens are those in restaurants, retail sales and cashier positions.

> The Frisco Workforce Center is looking for both summer job seekers and employers interested in posting jobs. The service is free for both parties.

> The job hunt is primarily for youths between 16 and 21, but jobs are also accepted for younger applicants.

> For more information, visit or, or call Jill Seal at the Frisco Workforce Center (602 Galena Street, Frisco) at (970) 668-5360 ext. 28.

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