TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The teen unemployment rate is at a record high in our country at 26%, just in time for summer when many kids are looking for jobs. Parents, you may know, it's highly competitive out there, especially since many adults with more experience are settling for average jobs teens would normally go for.
This summer, teenagers will be throwing elbows with unemployed adults to find work.
"The kids, they're just looking for anything right now to make some money to buy gas, to pay insurance," explained Brent Berryman, a vocational teacher at Lindale High School.
Berryman encourages students to visit local businesses, asking about temporary jobs, meet with school counselors who can guide them and offer tips, and, one of the most important things, add high school activities to resumes. That may be an unpaid internship or even classes they have taken.
"Have that one extra thing on their resume or on their job application that says, 'Hey, I know how to do welding,' or, 'I know how to do some woodworking,' or, 'I've dealt with animals before,'" said Berryman.
Workforce Solutions of East Texas says teens should apply for jobs at summer camps, in retail, and the service sector.
"The main thing they need to do [is] start applying early," said Stephen Lynch. "If they're in High School now, today is the time to start looking, apply online, go out to the companies that they're interested in and dress the part."
With such stiff competition, Berryman also encourages parents to start prepping kids early.
"I mean like in elementary school, start getting an idea of what your kid likes to do."
If you have a teenager, encourage them to start their own business. Dillon Clifton, a senior at Lindale, has done that, reaching out through friends and neighbors.
"I mow yards on the side, well, actually that's my main job during the summer, and then on the side I do different welding jobs and things of that nature," said Clifton.
Taking initiative and showing a strong work ethic says a lot, even if they lack experience.
Workforce Solutions is hiring about 500 teens this summer. Their summer work program is for those aged 16 to 24 and covers 14 East Texas counties. They just need to visit a local Workforce office to apply. The pay is minimum wage.