Friday, December 28, 2012

Teens and Young Adult Job Prospects

Boston Globe Article Looks at Job Prospects for 16-24 year olds

As I read the above article only a week prior to the start of the Christmas Holiday, my heart sank deep down into my toes. Could it really be so bleak for America's youth? I'm afraid the numbers don't add up to much more.

I held a number of summer jobs in my youth and beyond. I spent many a summer on the beach in Wilmington, NC looking after my young charges as they frolicked in the surf. It was great fun with a nice dose of responsibility. I had to show up on time. I had to make sure that the children I cared for were safe, well-fed, and slathered up with sunscreen. The money wasn't fabulous but it kept my car on the road and gave me enough spending money to grab pizza or ice cream with friends.

As I progressed towards a more adult life, my summer jobs changed too. I beat the heat by working as a projectionist at a movie theater. Another summer, I worked in my college library. The list goes on: interior painter, front desk staff at a local inn, camp counselor, and even as an assistant in my alma mater's theatre department. Each job held its own challenges and gave me a taste of what would await me upon graduation.

Imagine a world with no summer jobs and no college friendly employment. Now imagine a world where you spend tons of money on college, graduate, and find that there aren't ANY jobs for you. None. Nada. Zip. Zero.

I wish I had the answer to jump start our economy. I just hope that we don't give up.

I wrote Giuseppe to illustrate this very idea of perseverance. If we keep trying, something will change. We simply have to hold on to that thought. We have to keep telling our kids that they can grow up to be anything they want. Let's keep telling them that they could grow up to be the President of the United States, because anything is possible.

We can try to look at this as a time for rebirth, for soul-searching. Our children can grow up to have jobs that they enjoy (a novel concept for some). Teach them to live within their means, to shun the fast money of credit card spending, and value temperance over excess. Above all, let's hold on to hope and pass that on to our children.

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