Teen Unemployment High But There Are Jobs In The QCA - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Teen Unemployment High But There Are Jobs In The QCA

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­DAVENPORT, IA – Teen unemployment is rising, but there are many job opportunities to students who are looking for their first jobs.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa has 12% of teens that are unemployed. Illinois is 28 percent. The national average is 21 percent.

There are many places in the Quad Cities area who hire teenagers, so for those who are looking, there is hope!

Maggie Stone, 19, started working at Whitey’s Ice Cream when she was 17 years old. She is in college now, and comes back to this part-time job during breaks.

Stone says, “It definitely was hard to find a job. I applied to upwards of 20 places.” This seems to be the case for many teens.

Iowa Workforce Development says finding employment opportunities has been difficult for teenagers in the last few years.

Paula Arends, Director at Davenport IowaWorks Center, says, “It’s been more difficult to find those part-time lower skilled jobs because a lot of adults were having to go that route too.”

But many companies, like Whitey’s, have mostly employees who are still students. Manager Cherie Santarsieri says, “Majority of our employees are high school employees. We have about 50 adults, and 200 to 225 high school kids.”

IowaWorks is having a training program starting on June 16th for the youth who are still looking for jobs. This is the second year of the program, and last year it employed 82 percent of the teens that did the training.

The two-week program helps them learn basic job skills. Then after the training, IowaWorks will help the students find jobs. They are looking to fill 15 spots in Jackson, Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott Counties. It’s also free so it is a good opportunity for students to learn and hopefully land a summer job.

Sara Graves, Employment and Training Counselor at IowaWorks says, “Even a part-time job doing a simple job will give you a lot of examples that you can use in interviews going forward.”

These first jobs can help students develop skills that will help them in their future careers.

As for Maggie Stone, the employed student, she wants to share this message with other teens, “Keep applying places and keep your head up because I definitely was discouraged. I just kept putting in applications, not even thinking I would get a call back. If you keep at it, someone is going to call you back eventually.”

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