Summer jobs still tough to find for Suncoast teens

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BRADENTON, FLA. -- It's summertime, and with school over until the fall many students are looking for summer jobs.

“We have an influx of people that contact us to find out what positions we may have available or what opportunities we have available for youth,” said Sally Hill, communications director for Career Source Suncoast.

“The economy has gotten better so there is more opportunities out there, but I wouldn't say there is necessarily more opportunity for youth,” Hill says.

She says because of the tight job market, many entry level jobs are being filled by older and more qualified job candidates.

“So those entry level positions have a tendency to go to somebody that may have some level of education that the youth don’t quite have yet.”

Jensen Newhall, a college student at USF, was able to get a job as a waiter.

“It really wasn’t the first place I'd gone to. The first place I went to was the YMCA and I went in for an interview, I went in multiple times afterwords and they just didn’t seem to want to give me anything,” said Newhall.

Craig Jennison just graduated from Manatee High and is working a part time job this summer for gas and food money.

“Just working at O'Bricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar, skateboarding and a little bit of wake skating. Just enjoying being young,” said Jennison.

Paige Osborne is skipping the summer job to put all of her efforts on summer school.

“I'm planning to be able to get into a classical school this year and duel enroll at the same time so that I can pursue my career in medical school somewhere,” said Osborne.

Hill says looking for jobs can be a full time job in itself. She says kids who try to get a job but fail are still gaining valuable skills they will be able to use in the future.

“It is a learning process and the more that they can learn and understand about what businesses look for, what is important to them, it is not just about skills, it is about their soft skills. Showing initiative, showing up on time, it is making sure you are dressed appropriately,” said Hill.

Career Source Suncoast is starting a pilot program called Journey to Success for 50 students from Sarasota and Manatee counties later this month. The pilot program will give students an opportunity to learn more about in-demand occupations from both counties.