WHY HIRE A YOUTH:
If you are over thirty years old, chances are you worked as a teenager. You gained skills, knowledge, confidence, and a work-ethic through this experience; it was an important part of your growth. Unfortunately, things have changed in recent times. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1980, 57% of teens aged 15-19 were employed in some capacity during the summer or school year. By the year 2000, that number had dropped to about 50%. As of today, that figure has been halved; with only 25% of young people able to find jobs.
According to the Center for Labor Market Studies, many things contributed to this drop in teen employment:the slow recovery from the last recession, the lower number of entry-level jobs as the workforce requires more skills, the availability of older workers to fill jobs once populated by teens, and, to a very small extent, adolescents' reduced interest in working.
Many young people face the classic "catch-22" of employment: You can't get a job, because you don't have experience. However, you can't get experience unless you have a job. This is a problem, because teen employment benefits the whole community. Furthermore, there are costs to us as a community, state, and nation when we don’t invest in the career development of our youth in this way. To learn more about research on teen employment and unemployment, click here.
Here are some resources designed for employers:
Understanding and Addressing the Youth Employment Crisis by the Commonwealth Corporation
Connecting Activities Employer Page - Linking Employers to Schools through WIBs
MA Work-Based Learning Plan - A tool to support the design of work experiences as well as evaluate and promote the growth of workers
What Employers Need to Know by the Pathways to Prosperity Network, an initiative of Jobs for the Future and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
If you have questions or need assistance with youth employment, please contact the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board:
- Donna DuSell, Youth Pathways Coordinator, ypcoordinator@fhreb: (413) 774-4361 x.363
- Shannon Doran, Franklin County School-to-Career Coordinator: email@example.com or (413) 774-4361 x.305