Our Chicago: Teen summer job outlook, One Summer Chicago

ByKay Cesinger WLS logo
Sunday, April 23, 2023
Our Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Between April and July each year, the number of 16-to-24 year olds who are working or who are looking for work grows sharply. That's according to the U-S Bureau of Labor statistics.

Jim McCoy, senior vice president for talent solutions at the staffing firm Manpower Group, says there are good reasons why companies might want to hire teens, "The smartest employers are looking for teens because they want to be able to develop the workforce they'll need going forward. So if you think about companies that have historically hired teens over the summer, restaurants, amusement parks, daycare, all sorts of other employers certainly they have a need for teens. But there are some great employers in Chicago, headquartered in Chicago, that are looking for interns. So think of companies like Aon, Motorola, Kraft Heinz, they all have really robust internship programs. And they're looking to find people who they can start to train, to develop and as they progress throughout their college career then they might have opportunities to join those organizations in the future."

McCoy says right now fast food, quick service restaurants are in need of good workers. And he had this suggestion for teens, "Think about approaching smaller businesses that you know, that might need help over the summer. Perhaps it's just covering for vacations for people. So think doctors offices and dentists offices. Sometimes those jobs aren't posted but I bet if you have the opportunity to walk in a say 'Look I'd be available and I'd love to learn what you do.' there's lots of companies that would take you up on that offer. And then of course there are staffing firms like ours," he said, "We're always looking for people to place into roles and we're happy to talk to teenagers that are looking to start their career, get some good on-the-ground experience either before they progress further in their career or maybe use that as a launching point for their college education."

Another option for Chicago residents between the ages of 14 and 24 is the city's One Summer Chicago program. Twenty thousand jobs are available, paying $15.40 an hour. "Our young people want to work and it is our responsibility to make sure that they have meaningful experiences that open them up to the possibilities," said Brandie Knazze, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, "This summer we'll have young people who will be outside, they'll be working at their local park district, at beaches, painting murals, as well as in the business environment and office spaces. They'll be part of our IOS Tech community. They'll be doing coding, augmented reality, media and so much more." As for how to get these jobs, "The application is really easy to complete," said Commissioner Knazze, "It takes 15 minutes. You can complete it on your phone or on your PC. All young people really need is to provide their demographic information as well as what their interests are. From there, they'll be selected and put into a pool and they can be called for an interview." Applications are open now.

For More Information On One Summer Chicago: