SHERIDAN — With snow still coating a majority of the ground in Sheridan County, local employers have started seeking students and adults for summer employment opportunities.
Sheridan High School internship coordinator Heidi Richins started receiving interest from service industry businesses in late winter.
Service-industry-type jobs keep students employed throughout the year but significantly pick up during the summer. Some of those businesses, like Qdoba and Starbucks, also prove mutually beneficial for students looking to further their educations after high school, providing tuition reimbursement.
Other businesses employ students through the internship program. Big Horn Builders Association brings students on as interns throughout the year, and Richins said a few students hope to turn those internships into jobs for the summer.
While Richins works to make community connections, she appreciates when businesses reach out to her and offer positions for the students.
“I love it when they call and tell me because I always have kids looking for jobs,” Richins said. “Then I can put an announcement in the school bulletin, read in the announcements and published online.”
Richins said by reaching out to her, businesses essentially receive free marketing.
SHS students receiving Certified Nursing Assistant credentials through the high school’s certification program also seek jobs in the profession around May or June.
Richins also directs students toward employment at the YMCA for summer camps.
YMCA day camp director Jacey Repsis said the YMCA employs students ages 13 and older in different capacities. Students ages 13 through 15 may apply for the Leader-In-Training program.
Repsis said they accept all applicants and give them at least two weeks of unpaid work experience each summer.
“If they show us that they’re mature, enthusiastic, responsible and show initiative about wanting to be working at the Y, then at age 15 we sometimes offer a chance for them to be a junior counselor,” Repsis said.
Repsis said she only hires eight or nine youth counselors for the day camps starting at age 16. The camp counselor positions usually receive around 15 applicants. The most popular camp for young adults and children are the theater camps. When children age out of the camps, they often jump at the opportunity to work as counselors.
The YMCA hires adults for its resident camps for cooking and teaching in specialty skills, like fishing or photography. Repsis said the Y greatly appreciates and will pay anyone willing to share a special skill, especially one related to the outdoors.
“The kids just love being around older adults,” Repsis said. “They’re really drawn to them.”
YMCA aquatics program director Jennifer Fenton said her hiring remains consistent throughout the year, but she remains flexible for students wishing to participate in other extracurricular activities. Fenton also said some of her lifeguards like to transition into guarding outdoors at the Kendrick Park pool each summer, and she accepts them back to their position after the summer season.
Fenton holds a positive relationship with the Kendrick Park pool employers and understands the need for flexibility in hiring and retaining younger employees.
As summer approaches, so does the anticipation of new job opportunities for both adults and youth in Sheridan.