Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. This is the time of year when teens anticipate summer, long hot days of time, stretching out before them. At first, they mostly think of kicking back, no homework, tests, looking out of windows longing to be outside.
Soon school doors close and reality sets it. Days and days of nothing to do sound great until they’re here, and doing nothing is no longer a choice. It gobbles up time with no satisfaction from the feast. It is a case of diminishing returns.
Last week Nederland Middle Senior High School, partnering with local and Front Range agencies set up shop at the school with the intent of introducing job potentials as well as internships and volunteer positions to help our youth make the summer count for something.
The second annual NMSHS Job Fair was a success with dozens of the students filling out applications for employment or volunteer positions that not only look good on resumes, but also begin the networking skills needed when heading out into the work field.
A King Sooper’s table was set up just inside the gym doors, the representatives saying that many of their employees leave for the summer and they need extra help. Most of the opportunities are clerk positions, greeting and assisting customers. The specific positions are in the bakery department, the barista, checkers, deli, floral cake decorators, meat department, pharmacy, produce, seafood, service and stock shelves.
These jobs are entry level positions, classified part-time and scheduled for 20-40 hours a week with flexible hours.
The King Sooper’s representative said that working for the large chain Kroger Co. is a
guarantee of finding a job in other stores as well as being part of a family that will work with you and your schedule.
The Nederland Mountain People’s Co-op advertised that it is looking for a dishwasher and cook in the deli, with work hours from 8-12. TEENS Inc. hires many students during the summer to work with their conservation crews and also to train to become a youth consultant for their Prevention Coalition, learning to advise, advocate and lead.
If you like working with kids, Little Bear Preschool is looking for students for both volunteer and internship as well as paying positions. Teacher Karen Campbell says, “We need all the fresh, energetic help we can get.”
Many outdoor job opportunities exist working for Boulder Parks and Recreation and the Forest Service as well as the Youth Corps. While this is a chance for city kids to get out into the country, it is also a chance for mountain teens to work in other mountain communities.
The Golden Gate State Park Ranger Lauren Stanford says that the park is now hiring maintenance crews and visitor center employees for the summer.
Restaurants in Nederland do most of the business in the summer and are hiring local teens to get their foot in the food business. The New Moon Bakery needs weekend and busy holiday help and pays $10 an hour.
The Sundance Restaurant and Lodge is hiring in all positions. Employees move on and need to be replaced and augmented. Kitchen and wait staff are in demand over the busy summer months. Nederland Middle Senior High School student Hattie Bakke works as a hostess at the Sundance on Saturdays and says it is her favorite job. “I plan on working there until I graduate,” says Hattie.
The Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center has volunteer programs as well the Carousel of Happiness. Volunteer work turns into scholarship money and is what employers look for on resumes. Wild Bear seeks five interns for the summer season to work with the youth programs. The job comes with a $500 stipend per month for 40 hours a week, possible school credit and the program runs from June 5-August 11.
The Job Fair was a great event for employers and potential student employees; it was a door into becoming connected with the world of work and with people outside of the school community.