By Mark Ambrogi
Noblesville Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Becky Terry figures it’s only logical for the youth development agency to provide some entry-level jobs for teenagers.
“We also are providing the soft skills that are needed for kids to be successful when they do show up for their first day on the job,” Terry said. “We also have our junior staff program where we have members from the age of 8 to 18 who show leadership qualities and put them in different roles throughout the building. They have a schedule and they have to show up on time. They earn some incentives as they go along. We are trying to train them what it takes to be successful in the workplace.”
Terry was part of a panel that spoke on Youth Employment Benefits All at the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon April 26 at Habour Trees Golf and Beach Club. Chamber President/CEO Bob DuBois said the chamber’s goal is to encourage Noblesville businesses to give teenagers 200 first-time jobs by Aug. 1.
Mike Myers, the state’s director of Child Labor and Wage and Hour divisions, spoke on businesses’ compliance in following the child labor laws.
“We work with our teenagers on how to fill out applications and how to create resumes,” Terry said. “We average about 35 part-time employees, depending on the season, and a great bulk of them are between 14 and 18.”
Terry said transportation should be one issue addressed before hiring teenagers.
“Sometimes kids that are involved in extracurricular activities get overlooked because employers think they are too busy or they won’t have enough hours,” she said. “I would encourage you to look at those students as well. It will teach them to balance their schedules and teach them they have to communicate their other commitments. You just need to set expectations and be willing to communicate with them over and over. Hiring youth is an investment into their futures. You will be surprised by some things you think are common sense they should have learned along the way that they don’t know.”
Terry said the club has had to let several young employees go because of inappropriate social media posts, whether it’s in a staff shirt or not.