Summer jobs tough to find - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Summer jobs tough to find

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Seventeen hundred sixty-seven south Georgia students between 14 and 24 have asked the Department of Labor for help finding a summer job.

Through the Work Investment Act, as many as half of them may get the help they need.  Southwest Georgia has received 1.8 million dollars in stimulus money to put teens and young adults to work.

Graduating senior Moriah Cromer knows how hard it is to find a job.

"It was pretty difficult, I looked for probably a month or two before I got hired," said Moriah Cromer, a recent graduate.

For employers like Chick-Fil-A, who typically hire high school or college students, the job market means they can be more selective than ever with who they put behind their counters.

"We have a stack of applications right now that we have to go through and in a way that's a great thing because we have a choice," said Anna Wari, Chick-Fil-A Unit Marketing Director.

With more than two thousand adults out of work in southwest Georgia, young adults say their job prospects have narrowed. Using 1.8 million dollars the Workforce Investment Act through the Department of Labor will help as many as 700 students work up to 30 hours a week this summer. The money pays the students wages, workers comp insurance, and companies get some much needed help.

"We're looking for anyone, any employer who has a position available, if it's a public employer or a private employer. We run the gauntlet from convenience store to grocery stores to nurseries, a nursery is a daycare nursery or a lawn nursery," said Chuck Fields, WIA Director.

For students looking to work the drive through or any other job they may have one more obstacle in their way, minimum wage is going up forcing employers to chose between labor and higher costs.

"The minimum wage is increasing, we've had to account for that increase in July which you know may cut some of the number we could have helped because we have to increase our wages also," said Fields.

Employers say young job seekers shouldn't give up, Chick-Fil-A is still looking for a few more employees, but say you've got to be on your game and have a good resume to get the job.

The minimum wage increase will take effect July 24th. It will go up 70 cents from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour.

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