DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As school wraps up, some teens are nearing their first attempt at a job, but for many, finding employment is proving difficult, even with a consistent worker shortage.
A local group is doing all it can to match those teens with businesses in need, but many may have to wait to earn that first paycheck.
While Montgomery County’s YouthWorks program said they will have to defer hundreds of teens until the fall for employment, some teens are still finding a way to work this summer.
Qais Abudulwahed is a graduating senior at Deca and has been working at Fly Boys Deli, in downtown Dayton since he was 16, and with the summer approaching, he’s expecting to work 30 hours a week. He said other than the money, his job has given him so much.
“It’s been helpful because, like, you mature kind of to the job because I take on those extra responsibilities,” Abudulwahed said. “Having to go to work after school gives you a schedule which, like, I think it prepares me for being an adult.”
It all starts with a work permit. Teens from ages 14-17 can work as long as they take the proper steps and to fill out the application. During the school year, they need approval from their school, and in some cases would need a physical.
In summer months however, school approval is not needed, and kids can get consent from their legal guardian.
Montgomery County’s YouthWorks aids in the process of getting employers and youth connected. In past years, they’ve helps thousands of kids get their first job. COVID-19 slowed down some of their operations, but this year the department reported a large influx of applications for summer work.
While they cannot accept all of the applications for this summer, they do have services available for youth year round.
“We do offer services for job readiness,” Kara Hamby, public information officer for Montgomery County, said. “So, even if someone isn’t a participant in the youth works program, but, you know, they’re saying, hey, I’m a young person, I’d like to find a job, you know, where do they go? We do offer services if they want to come to the youth resource center or contact us, they can get information and resources and support on finding a job, you know.”
YouthWorks is no longer accepting teens for the summer, and students who sign up will likely be deferred to the fall. However, they are asking employers to sign up to give more teens jobs.
You can learn more about YouthWorks here.