Where teens may find jobs this summer

The Associated Press

Summer may be months away, but for teens hoping to find jobs, the time to start looking is now.

Seasonal employers are seeing a larger influx of applicants this year, especially from laid-off workers who are overqualified but willing to take entry-level positions.

That said, there are jobs out there, say career experts. Here are some suggestions on where to look:

Amusement parks

U.S. theme parks will hire close to 500,000 employees for the summer, according to David Mandt, spokesman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. That's about the same number as last year, but there has been a dramatic increase in the number of applications, particularly from older workers.

Mandt advises students to be flexible and consider opportunities in less visible departments, suchas merchandise, the call center and landscaping and security. He said job seekers need to be friendlyand outgoing.

Find opportunities at the parks' Web sites.

Baby sitters

The demand for part-time baby sitters will probably increase this summer becauseparents are cutting back on full-time caregivers and summer camps, says Genevieve Thiers, CEO ofSittercity.com, which connects parents and caregivers.

Thiers said baby sitters should have experience working with children, good references and a cleanrecord.

"If you drive that's good too. If you do other things like light housework, dog sitting, cooking, thatwill definitely get you a little more attention," she said.

She recommends that teens find ways to safely display their baby-sitting information, either viaonline communities, free posting sites, or baby-sitting chat boards, and include information abouttheir skills and experience.

Golf caddies

Golf is holding strong even with the bad economy, says Dennis Cone, founder andCEO of the Professional Caddies Association.

"The baby boomers are now starting to play and they said, 'We want to walk,"' he said. "So I see abigger future for the caddie comeback ... as long as the resorts can attract folks with great deals."

Danny Cline, general manager and chief operating officer for Gaillardia Country Club in OklahomaCity, Okla., said his club is looking for caddies and people to work in the golf shop, maintain thegrounds and organize tournaments and events.

Check out www.PCAhq.com to find out more.


There is more competition for camp counseling positions this summer, say camp directors.

YMCA of Greater New York started recruiting in November, says Wheaton Griffin, executivedirector of New York YMCA Camp, which runs a day camp and three sleepaway camps. He'splanning to hire 200 counselors for the summer and has seen more applications early on.

Griffin said he is looking for young adults who have leadership skills and experience working withchildren, whether through coaching or Big Brothers Big Sisters. Students must be able to pass abackground check and provide three non-relative references.

Tony Oyenarte, director of the residential Camp Crystal Lake in Starke, Fla., recommendsstudents become certified in life guarding, CPR and First Aid. He said a special skill like sailing orwater skiing is also a plus.

Find opportunities at www.campjobs.com or www.acacamps.org

Fast food

Americans may be eating out less, but business is flourishing at McDonald's. The fast food chain said its same-store sales in January rose 7.1 percent worldwide and 5.4 percent in the U.S.

Tough economic times means people are more value-conscious, says Paul Facella, author of"Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald's." Families who were eating at a placelike T.G.I. Friday's may take it down a notch to a fast food restaurant, he said.

Facella said fast food positions are generally entry level, which make them ideal for teens. There isalso turnover, so opportunities are available, he said.

Russ Bendel, president and CEO of The Habit Burger Grill in California said locations near thebeach will increase staff 10 percent for the summer.

"We're looking for people that have an upbeat kind of personality," he said. "They're somewhatoutgoing and assertive. They understand what hospitality is. They like to function in a team environment."

Health care

You don't need medical training as a doctor or nurse to work in health care, says Shawn Boyer, CEOof SnagAJob.com.

Places such as Walgreens hire pharmacy technicians to assist licensed pharmacists, with manyproviding on-the-job training, he said.

He said some home health care companies are looking for people to run errands, do lighthousekeeping and provide companionship to sick people.

Students can also work as valet parking attendants at health care facilities or in hospital giftshops, he said.

Ice cream shops

Ice cream shop owners don't think the cheap treat to beat the heat will take a hit.

"I think people treat themselves a little more because they may not be doing some of the biggerthings they normally do," said Bob Turner, owner of Dairy Corner in Urbana, Ohio, who isanticipating a busier summer than last.

Vince Giordano, owner of Sno Top in Manlius, N.Y., is hiring close to the same number of seasonalemployees this year. His shop opens on weekends in mid-March and daily in April.

Giordano says he is looking for teens who are pleasant, enthusiastic and involved in schoolactivities, whether athletics or the National Honor Society. He said involved students generallymake better employees than ones who are non-active.


There is always a need for lifeguards, says Michelle Jantz of the American Red Cross, adding that she hasn't heard of any aquatic centers not opening because of funding.

Many cities are pushing to have their staff hired, trained and ready to go for the big Memorial Dayweekend, she said.

Jantz recommends teens (ages 15 and older) contact their local Red Cross to find out aboutlifeguard training programs in their area. (Lifeguards must pass a swim test before training). The28-hour course includes CPR/AED and First Aid, water rescue and surveillance skills.

Lifeguards need to be professionals (it's not all fun in the sun, she said) with good communicationand customer service skills, she said.

Find your local Red Cross at www.redcross.org. For beach lifeguards, check the bulletin board onwww.usla.org.

Movie theaters

So far, 2009 is off to a strong start. Overall revenues for movie ticket salesnationally stand at a $1.5 billion for the year and are running 22.4 percent ahead of 2008 figures,according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers.

Steve Mason, box office analyst and theater owner, predicts summer sequels and franchises, suchas "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," "Terminator Salvation" and "Star Trek" will bolster sales.

"We will absolutely be hiring," said Mason, president of Flagship Theatre Corp in California.

"There is always high turnover in service industry jobs, so we are always looking for the rightpeople, but this summer movie theaters will be jammed and that means a lot of opportunities forhigh school- and college-aged kids."

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