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MailTribune.com
  • Finding scarce jobs requires effort

  • Our 16-year-old granddaughter is living with us. She wants to get a job this summer. How can we best help her? We've been out the loop for a while, and things have definitely changed since we had kids at home.
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  • Our 16-year-old granddaughter is living with us. She wants to get a job this summer. How can we best help her? We've been out the loop for a while, and things have definitely changed since we had kids at home.
    — Diana G., Medford
    We've got bad news and good news for you and your granddaughter, Diana.
    First the bad: The unemployment rate for the nation's teenagers is at an all-time high.
    The good news, however, is that your granddaughter is starting her search early and may be able to land a job before the college kids get home during spring break and snap up those jobs like locusts.
    Stacie Grier, the district director for Junior Achievement of Jackson and Josephine counties, told us the task is taller because so many displaced older workers have migrated to employment once considered the domain of teenagers and students.
    "It used to be you would see all teenagers behind the counter at McDonald's," Grier said. "Now adults are gobbling up all those jobs."
    As a result, it might take a bit of ingenuity, she said, to land a summer job.
    "You have to think outside the box," Grier said. "Maybe take an entrepreneurial approach, mow lawns, clean stalls, walk dogs and things like that."
    A good resource for finding jobs is the Job Council resource center at Eighth and Bartlett streets in downtown Medford, across from the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center. You will find job postings, access to computers and other resource materials there.
    "They know all the tips and tricks about filling out applications, how to write a resume, and how to do an interview," Grier said. "They know all the secret places to look for a job in the valley."
    Cindy Manning, a youth employment specialist at the Job Council, said a good place to start is getting an Oregon Food Handlers Card.
    If you go to www.orfoodhandlers.com, you can apply online for the card and take an open-book test. The cost is $10.
    Manning said teenagers shouldn't shortchange themselves in putting together a resume.
    "They need to put all the volunteer work and extra activities they've done through school," Manning said.
    She suggested teens target the places they want to work and make themselves known to the people who are hiring.
    "Keep checking in," Manning said. "That seems to be the most successful approach. Get to know them, because people hire people they like."
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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