Mon February 6, 2012

Boulder County Wants Teens For Summer Jobs

Colorado’s job market continues to be very tight, and a study released last year by the nonprofit "Employment Policy institute" places the state’s teen unemployment rate at 26%. That means many kids are not finding work during the summer months. However, Boulder County has an outdoor public works program that is actively seeking teens looking for that summer job.

The Boulder County Youth Corp is one of 10 across the state, and has 160 summer positions available this year. Teens aged 14-17 will be doing everything from building slash piles and mending fences, to trail maintenance and creation.

Judy Wolfe, program manager of the corps says this is more than just your typical summer job.

“It’s a great introduction into the working world. We build in team building activities as well as environmental education. We’re trying to make it fun, but we’re also trying to teach the kids that this is what it takes to get a job.”

Wolfe says the application process is a very competitive, with close to 500 applications last year.

The Boulder Corps whose, application deadline is March 30th, hopes to have a 50/50 split between boys and girls this year. They’re actively seeking girls who want to join a team of their peers to work on outdoor public projects across the county.

And Wolfe says kids keep coming back year after year. 

“They’re not only learning important job skills, but they’re making friendships that will last a lifetime.  A lot of the kids want to serve on the same team to be with their friends. When they get hired on their first summer, it’s a huge learning curve, they’re filling out time sheets they’re being evaluated. They are learning really good job skills. But there’s only so much they can learn the first season, so every year they come back they can gain leadership skills.”

Teens must be residents of the county, which pays for the program through property taxes.