Youth work programs help teach life lessons

Summertime is often portrayed through sun tans, bathing suits, swimming pools and lemonade. Rarely is hard work seen — after all, school is out and many kids don’t have a care in the world.
But, around the community, many teenagers are taking advantage of the summer months by finding employment. Kudos should go out to them.

Summer jobs are an important part of growing up.

They teach responsibility, hard work, time management, confidence and teamwork.

In addition to personal growth, summers jobs have more external advantages as well. They can help teens build networks of potential future employers, gain relevant job experience before school ends and begin saving money for school or other future plans.

Whether the job is as a lifeguard at Kendrick Pool or as an editorial intern at The Sheridan Press, the lessons are similar.

There are many employers in the area that could use a little extra help, especially in the busy summer tourism months in the Bighorns.

From April to July 2012, the number of employed youth ages 16 to 24 years old rose 2.1 million to 19.5 million across the U.S. The share of young people employed in July — typically a summertime peak — was 50.2 percent.
While summer jobs still tend to be in leisure and hospitality sectors (26 percent of employed youth work in those fields) and the retail trade industry (19 percent), more career-oriented summer gigs may be on the minds of youth who are unsure how to find them.

Employers like Spring Creek Mine offer summer programs for youth and interns, with the potential for full-time work down the road. Other area employers are also seeking qualified youth to replace what in some sectors is an aging workforce.

Efforts in Sheridan County may soon further enhance the work experience for youth in the area. Efforts are being made to create an internship program through the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.

The idea is that the Chamber would be the place to look to either find an internship or find an intern — making the entire process much faster and much more efficient.

Any way to keep our youth busy, prepare them for the future and teach life lessons outside the classroom is a worthwhile endeavor.







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