Your Family

Apr 9, 2010 12:02 AM by Ariel Wesler

More teens hunting for summer jobs

The job market is tough enough if you have experience, but for local teens, it's even tougher. The teen jobless rate nationwide sits at about 26 percent. According to the federal labor bureau, that's one of the highest levels since 1948 when they began tracking the numbers.

"I got a stack of 20 right here, just in the past week, but I probably have 40 to 50 applications, said Steve Garragos," a Quizno's franchise owner in Santa Maria.

From Jamba Juice to Quizno's, teenagers are swarming popular summer job sites looking for work. Jobs are becoming less seasonal and more of a necessity.

"Where would you like to work?" I asked. "Wherever I get hired," said 18-year-old Luis Rocha of Santa Maria.

Gallegos has had the same employees since september, but says if you want a job, persistence is key.

"I just had a girl. This is the third time she's come back to visit me for work," Gallegos said.

Last year, nearly 33 percent of California's teens were unemployed, the 2nd highest in the nation. So, with school out for spring break, many are taking the time to get a jump start on the summer rush.

"I just applied yesterday at TJ Maxx, so I don't know I might call back," Rocha said.

Carrie Foster runs the Jamba Juice in Santa Maria. . .a place known for its fun atmosphere--so much so. . .it recently ran out of applications and had to order more. Foster says she knows what she's looking for in an applicant.

"Personality, appearance, just the way you present yourself, the way you're going to treat customers," she said.

Employers say don't give up, but hurry up as spots are filling up fast.

One more quality to add to that list . . .patience. One woman I spoke with today said it took her son six months to find a job.

Employers say make sure to always attach some type of resume, even if you have no previous work experience.

For more help with finding a summer job, click here.

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