Moffat County High School sophomore Eunhye Song really wants a job this summer. Her friend, junior Danielle Nielson, does, too. Dream jobs include: working at the city pool and anything besides baby sitting.
“I have to pay for my car and gas,” Song said. “I kind of want the money.”
Dozens of student showed up Wednesday night for a job fair — sponsored by the Colorado Workforce Center — that attracted an assortment of vendors. Students, mostly those who said they had little or no job experience, filled out applications in the lobby of the Moffat County High School for jobs including fast-food and working on an oil rig.
“Whatever I can get, works,” said Song, who circled the full range of job opportunities while filling out an application.
A good-paying job should garner $10 an hour, said sophomore Tanya Cervoni. Work cleaning rooms or condominiums in Steamboat Springs also seemed like profitable options, she said.
“This helps a lot,” Cervoni said of the fair. “This really gives you the learning experience to find a job.”
The Workforce Center has held the annual job fair for years, said Linda Dill, an employment specialist with the agency. Dill typically sees students with little to no work experience, but that’s the reason for the job fair. Vendors such as Subway, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, an oil company called Helmerich & Payne and others attended the event.
“That’s what this whole thing is about, to get them experiences,” Dill said. “They are inexperienced.”
Jon Feiges, crew manager of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, said it’s tough to say what high-school students expect out of a job.
Some, he said, don’t consider working on trail projects in the backcountry as a viable option.
“I think they expect it to be like TV,” he said.
“They expect to be buy nice things but have no labor involved.”
Feiges said the RMYC tries to hire locally before launching a state and nationwide searches.
There are 12 positions for youths ages 16 to 18, but more positions available for people ages 18 to 25.
He said, however, that it is unfortunate that some teenagers assume work can’t be pleasant.
“They don’t expect it be something to enjoy, that they’ll like to do,” Feiges said.
“They don’t think of work as something that can be part of their identity.”
Senior Amanda Eisenhauer thinks employers are looking for friendly, hard-working applicants.
She fits that role, but she said she thinks it’s “rude” to pester potential employers for work.
“It’s hard to be annoying,” she said, while filling out applications for Subway.
She and three others at her table said none of them had work experience and references.
“I don’t want to be sitting around all summer doing nothing,” one student said.
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