Bend teens are on the hunt for summer jobs

Many high schoolers struggling to find employment

Bend teens face challenges when looking for work

BEND, Ore. - Landing your first job can be a job in itself.

"I have no experience, no connections so it's going to be tough to find someone that will let me in," a Summit High School junior looking for work said Tuesday.

"One of the problems is, nobody hires under 18," another student said of his struggle to find a job.

With just days left in the school year, many high-schoolers around Central Oregon are competing for work -- and many aren't being picky.

"I'm hoping for anything at this point, I've been looking for a while," said another student.

Some students have been job hunting for months, applying for dozens of jobs.

"Probably like 30," said a female high school student, when asked how applications she'd turned in.

Summit School to Career Program Manager Kent Child told NewsChannel 21 teens should  look for work in three basic industries: food, retail and tourism -- and having job connections often makes all the difference.

"It's important for kids to get their name out there and ask for their parents' help," Child said.

She said many students are having trouble landing jobs because of competition -- namely, college students returning home for the summer, and adults who are also looking for similar jobs.

"Experience is important at this point. I think it's because we have so many job-hunters out there," Child said.

Summit senior Hannah Goldstein said she turned in about 20 job applications before she finally got her first job -- and it helped that she knew many of the people who are now her co-workers.

"I got really lucky -- my dad used to work there, so I know everyone who manages the restaurant," Goldstein said.

Experience and connections are important--but sometimes attitude and eagerness can go just as far. Just ask Shelbi Blok, the 19-year-old manager of The Human Bean coffee stand.

"As long as you have a great personality and are willing to put in the extra effort than we are willing to train you," Blok said.

Blok said her coffee shop has several high school students who work for them, and she just hired two more employees for their very first job.

Child says most students have the skills -- they just need to show it off in the resume.

"Every kid here (at Summit) has the skills in their back pocket. They just need to learn to articulate what those are," she said.

The Human Bean is looking for a few more baristas, no experience necessary, and Blok encourages high school students to apply.

You can drop off your resume at either of The Human Bean locations off Greenwood Avenue.

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