Many Henderson teens are discovering how tough a world it really is out there! Fresh out of school, excited about their prospects of employment, they are instead facing hours on useless job interviews, job fairs, or even more frustrating, not even being granted an interview!
As someone who has been unemployed, I can empathize with them. It took me about 80 applications and six months before I finally got the job that I wanted,and I am an adult with 2 university degrees and years of experience!
All through school, students have waited to earn their own money to either afford those extras that they really want or to contribute at home. Now they are forced to pace the pavement, like so very many others in the Valley.
The Las Vegas Journal recently published an article that stated that the unemployment rate of Nevadans ages 16 to 19 is 34.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nevada finished second behind Georgia, which led the nation at 36.8 percent. The national average for teen unemployment is 24.2 percent. Those who didn’t start the job hunt as early as last January are finding it particularly disheartening.
“One student, Shane Haddad, 17, has been searching for a job for 10 months. Of the more than 30 businesses he applied to, including Port of Subs, Tropical Smoothie Café, Toys R Us, Marshalls, Target, Albertsons, Bank of America and Office Depot, he has received an interview at only one, he said.
“When I first started on my job hunt,” said Haddad, “I didn’t realize how much we would be competing with adults. You see people applying for these (jobs) that are 40 and 50. It’s annoying, but it’s understandable. The market’s just so bad right now.
“I haven’t been discouraged by it, I just didn’t really believe it was that difficult to get a job for even these low-level positions.”
Haddad said he wants to find a job to “not be such a burden” to his parents.
A student at Advanced Technologies Academy, 2501 Vegas Drive, Haddad worked part time as a camp instructor for three weeks during the past three summers at the K*bot robotics competition regional qualifiers for Las Vegas, Henderson and the world championship in Las Vegas.
He has a 4.1 weighted grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club International and DECA, an international entrepreneurial and leadership program.
He provided letters of reference from the K*bot director and his schoolteachers with his job applications.
It’s not enough, though.
“People have told me it’s luck and having connections,” he said, “even if you have the best resume in the world.””<LVRJ 07/27/11>
What some students simply don’t realize is that adults aren’t necessarily taking “their” jobs because they want to – they are taking them as a means to survival and to support their family. “Low-level” jobs may seem demeaninig to students with high ideals, but when you have been employed for any number of months and your benefits are running out, you will gladly accept any job – even one that is $5.00 less per hour than the last position you held!
I have had conversations with students here and in my hometown of Winnipeg who went into the job hunt relatively late, expecting to be offered $12 to $15 an hour (or more) to perform basic services. Guess what, guys? This simply isn’t happening, especially here in the Vegas area, with our recession!
It’s also true that you have to have the qualifications, and preferably experience to match behind you to be considered for even basic jobs in Las Vegas. Those youth and adults who haven’t even finished a high school education are finding it more and more difficult to find any sort of work, unless of course, they know someone.
The bottom line is be persistent, keep checking the job boards, send out those resumes, use sites such as Monster and Career Builder, ask family and friends, look for “help wanted signs” in windows, take the job you are finally offered and above all, “stay in school, students!” so once you’re all done, you can get that job of which you are dreaming!