Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Teens seek out summer jobs

There is still hope for high school teens being nagged by their parents or the tiny voice inside their head to get a job this summer, but opportunities vary, depending on experience, age and how long they've been looking.

In Manchester, Captain Bob's Fresh Seafood Carry-Out was fully staffed before summer even started, said General Manager Joe Eccleston.

Eccleston said the restaurant has its regular employees who have been with the restaurant for years and then additional high school students who fill in.

For Eccleston, experience is not nearly as important as that first impression, how they represent themselves, and the way they talk, he said.

"If they don't have experience, we'll be more than happy to give it to [them]," Eccleston said.

Many of the things employees are asked to do at Captain Bob's are tasks that students have never done before. Steaming crabs is not always a part of the average teenager's daily routine, and so Eccleston said they are happy to teach beginners.

Tom Slaysman, senior at Manchester Valley, said he started working at Captain Bob's about five weeks ago and now really enjoys it.

"I came in and I didn't really know what to expect," Slaysman said.

Employee and fellow Manchester Valley senior Sarah Cullison began working at Captain Bob's three weekends ago.

Knowing how to remove the right body parts of the soft-shelled crabs was one task Cullison said she had to learn at her new job.

"I actually enjoyed it," she said.

Working in a restaurant also involves a lot of personal skills, she said.

"It's nice coming in and feeling like you're part of a family," Cullison said.

Eccleston expects his employees to come prepared with math skills. But here, calculus is not required, just rudimentary math abilities needed to weigh crabs and figure out the price, he said.

However, not all restaurants are finished hiring. There are still several establishments searching for the right kind of employees who satisfy several particulars.

At E.W. Beck's, a restaurant in Sykesville, they are looking for experienced wait staff, said General Manager Dan Feehan.

"Experience is definitely preferred, but it's not a requirement," Feehan said.

Feehan said all applicants will be considered, but their experience or lack of will play a role in the hiring process.

At Baugher's Fruit Market in Westminster, it's very important that the employees either go to college locally or are still in high school, said Nathan Baugher, family owner and manager of produce.

The market likes having employees who can work evenings and weekends, Baugher said.

"We want people to be friendly, honest, hardworking," he said.

However, the market does have several employees who go to college and then return in the summer to work. It's when college kids head back to school that they do the most hiring, he said.

Just across the parking lot, at Baugher's Country Restaurant, General Manager Harold Stultz said last week they were looking for one or two part-time positions for servers.

But like the market and many other restaurants, Baugher's Restaurant is hesitant to hire an employee who will leave at the end of the summer, Stultz said.

A new employee usually requires three shifts of training, which is costly, Stultz said.

The possible exception, Stultz said, is an applicant who is able to return for the summer and other breaks. In this type of situation an applicant might be considered for the position, he said.

One job hunter, Westminster resident Ashlyn Pickett, is motivated and willing to work year round, but is unable to find a job because of a different requirement asked by employers, said her mother, Amberly Bly-Pickett.

Her daughter never even had a chance to apply, said Bly-Pickett, because restaurants are looking for an employee who is at least 16 years old, but Ashlyn is still 15.

Teenagers are legally able to start working at age 14, according to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. However, according to the DLLR, anyone between the ages of 14 to 17 is required to have a work permit which cannot be obtained until the teen has an employer who can fill out the necessary parts of the application.

As of May 2013, 24.5 percent of American teens aged 16 to 19 were unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau's definition for unemployed is not only someone who does not have a job but also someone who is actively searching for one. Overall, unemployment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 has nearly doubled since May of 2000, when it rested at 12.8 percent.