Workforce Center seeks employers for youth job fair

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The Pikes Peak Workforce Center is calling for employers to participate in youth summer employment fair.

The center’s Youth Zone is hosting a job fair at The DoubleTree Hotel Thursday, March 7 and urges any El Paso or Teller County employers who pay at least the minimum wage of $7.78 per hour to participate.

There is no charge for employers and there will be lunch, according to a release from the center.

Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August, according to the release. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.

And teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels, suggests a projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Experts agree that lack of employment opportunities for teens and young adults often leads to a lack of knowledge and experience needed to build long-term careers. Those who don’t work in their teen years may not learn the soft skills needed to be successful employees in the future.

“Employers can help,” Lance Bolton, President of the Pikes Peak Community College System said in a statement. “Students need, and benefit enormously from, work opportunities. Part-time employment or internships can be life-changing for students who know little about professional work environments. Skills related to character, self-control and work ethic naturally emerge from work opportunities in business.”

Interested employers should contact  Bob Gemignani at 719.667.3829 or bobgemignani@elpasoco.com.