Jobs For Youth prepare students for jobs, even through lockdown measures


Help wanted sign / Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

According to Child Trends, only about 20% of high school students in 2018 worked. This may be because school is starting to become a more time-consuming responsibility. The number of employed youth in 2020 has also taken a significant dive due to lock-down measures.

Earlier this month, students across Carlmont attended a virtual seminar, presented by Jobs For Youth (JFY), to learn valuable skills to help in the employment process, particularly to help students during the pandemic to get their first jobs.

Former Daly City mayor Albert M. Teglia founded the JFY program, in 1982, to create a community where students can control their careers and economic future. The program serves youth between the ages of 14 and 21 who live in San Mateo County.

“The presenters from JFY are always willing to assist our students in all aspects of securing a job,” said Nina Rasor, the College and Career Center assistant at Carlmont.

Getting a job during high school is often a rite-of-passage towards adulthood and independence, but many don’t know where to start. JFY provides free resources to help people learn about and complete those first few steps towards obtaining a job.

“We provide support via our three pillars of success—job skills workshops, employment opportunities, and scholarships,” said Rosa Gonzalez, leader of the recent JFY seminar.

Beyond its symbolic significance in the process of growing up, learning how to get a job has obvious tangible benefits, as high schoolers gradually learn to support themselves.

“It is probably valuable to have a job during high school because it will help support you if you want to go to college, and it teaches you how to get a job,” Evan Berger, a sophomore, said.

Although jobs can provide a fun experience, choosing the right career is vital. If one selects suitable employment, it can change a chore into something to look forward to. Not only does this make the job search easier, eliminating “boring” jobs that don’t appeal, but employers often look for prospective employees who are passionate about their job, who will take the tasks seriously due to their own interests, not just the company’s.

“One suggestion for applicants would be to apply for jobs that fit your personality,” Rasor said.

Finding a job has become even more imperative during quarantine, as many businesses stay shuttered or operate at a lower capacity. Students can assist their families during these trying times.

“Students getting jobs over quarantine can also help their families. Some people are put into positions where they have to start work because of their financial situation,” Marguerite Fields, a high school junior, said.

Although many businesses are closed, Gonzalez encourages students to search for jobs, if their lifestyle can accommodate them leaving the house, as gaining any kind of work experience is necessary for later resumes.

“Employers know how difficult it is for youth to gain experience during these difficult times and are excited to learn what skills youth learned during the pandemic,” Gonzalez said.

Children ages 16 to 24 are slowly leaving the workforce. The responsibilities of school usually consume most student’s time leaving very little for work. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, youth employment decreased drastically in 2006 and continued on this trend until it evened out in 2010. Although jobs have slowly increased since then, the job market has yet to reach the employment rates of 2006 again. In 2020, with the pandemic, youth employment has reached an all-time low.

“Many jobs are less safe now because a lot of jobs aren’t possible due to distance learning,” Berger said.

Although it’s difficult to search for student jobs, regardless of the pandemic situation, they can be an exceptional experience, forming strong professional skills and helping students work towards becoming independent adults.

“We believe in empowering youth to reach their full potential,” Gonzalez said.