Summer Jobs for Teens

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"It teaches you how to be on time, how to interact with people; it's very helpful."

Twenty-year-old Dan Applegate has been lifeguarding at Magic Waters for the past five years. Applegate is dedicated to his summer job, and Dan Pivoras of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says all young adults should embrace these opportunities.

"It starts things going, gives them a sense of responsibility and a little extra money too," says Pivoras.

Pivoras is the coordinator of "Hire the Future," a state-sponsored program that helps place students between the ages of 16 and 21 in summer and part-time jobs.

"I'll counsel them on interviews, help them with their resumes, help them find work," says Pivoras.

Pivoras says student employment has been hurting the past few years because older workers were forced to go after jobs typically filled by teens.

"Usually the park district had college kids cutting the grass, but now it's been taken up by adults who lost their jobs or had to start working two jobs," says Pivoras.

But the upshot is that jobs for teens are coming back and 17-year-old lifeguard Erica Vorel says summer jobs are important to one's personal growth.

"Obviously this job has a lot of responsibility. It teaches you that you're accountable here and it's going to be like that in the real world," says Vorel.

There’s a sunny outlook for student jobs and a hope that trend will continue across the employment board. If you'd like to learn more about "Hire the Future" contact Dan Pivoras at, or call him at 395-6622.