In January, Vinnie Sülsdorf received a CPR certificate, seeking to get a job as a lifeguard this summer so he could raise money to go to college in the fall.
But with an indoor pool due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the virus took this part,” said 18-year-old Zülsdorf, who will study at St. Thomas University, which has campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis. he makes some money mowing lawns for his grandfather’s property management business while he continues to look for a permanent job.
Difficulty finding a job is another reminder of how coronavirus has changed almost every aspect of life.
“It’s like a dream I just want to wake up from,” said Sülsdorf, who lives in Lakeville, Minnesota. – Refusal from the senior season of Lacrosse, not knowing when I have the last day at school. And now it affects what I do in the summer. It just seems surreal. ”
Pools are closed. Shops are closed. Restaurants pre-open.
This summer is interrupted for many teenagers who find shops, restaurants and recreation areas where they usually close to work after the coronavirus pandemic.
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And even though some retailers reopened, Target and CVS temporarily closed some stores amid nationwide protests caused by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
The summer months follow the spring when unemployment in May rose to 13.3%, the highest period since the Great Depression. Among the unemployed were 30% of young people aged 16 to 19 years, which is a record high.
Some teens who manage to find summer jobs worry about taking the coronavirus home to their families. Others continue to seek work, although they are far from certain that they will find anything.
“I’m really worried about (if I can) that I can go through the school year with enough money, because I don’t want to rely too much on my parents,” said Noah VandeWater, 18. Cranberry Town, PA.
17-year-old Amani Cistrank hoped to work in the summer to save on freshman college. “I heard that books will be expensive,” she said. She applied for several customer service jobs in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, but received no calls.
“If I don’t find him this summer, I just have to keep looking,” the high school student said. Otherwise, she counts on a group scholarship and receives help from her family to cover college expenses.
According to the Ministry of Labor, in 2019, a little less than a third of adolescents had summer jobs, compared with almost two decades ago. A study by Pew Research found that there are fewer workers among low-skilled jobs, such as salespeople. And teenagers enroll in summer school, volunteer, or undergo unpaid internships during the summer.
Nevertheless, summer work remains a ritual for many teenagers and may be the beginning of a future career. He can also teach money management, build self-confidence and a sense of responsibility, and instill basic work skills such as interviewing and working with colleagues, according to the Center for the Development of Work Ethics.
“You never know who has it.”
Over the past few years, VandeWater has been working at Olive Garden, occupying bus tables and serving concession booths in the local pool.
But this year, after he filled out about a dozen job applications in retail at the job search site, he received only one answer. He simply ordered him to apply again on the store’s website.
“It was hard to find a job … many shops closed,” says VandeWater, who will be visiting Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA this fall. “I have addressed some … twice, and I have not heard back.
VandeWater has a Lacrosse scholarship to cover tuition fees, but he wants to earn his own money for his first year of study. He even tried to provide DoorDash, a service that became popular with many Americans in the midst of a pandemic when many were discouraged from leaving home.
“But so many people are doing DoorDash right now … I couldn’t receive orders,” he says. “I tried three times, and I didn’t have money … So I left.”
VandeWater admits that he is really worried about the possibility of coronavirus infection if he finally finds a job.
“You never know who has it,” he says. “You must be careful.”
But he still wants to work. “I’m going to do gardening,” he says.
No work and no license
16-year-old Klara Zülsdorf was looking forward to working this summer in the same restaurant where her mother works as a hostess.
“That would be my first job,” she says. Due to COVID-19, the location is closed and its opening is unclear.
When she prepares to go to eleventh grade, her financial goals are slightly different from her brother Vinnie’s, whose goal is to earn money for college.
“Basically, I just wanted him to have his own money, so I didn’t have to ask my parents,” Clara says, “as if I wanted to be able to eat more often.” And I want to buy a good skateboard.
She was also looking forward to obtaining a driver’s license.
“I was hoping to get it before the end of summer so I could go to school next year,” she says, “and so I could also get a job, and transportation would be easier for my family.”
But due to an outbreak of coronavirus, the Ministry of Transport office was closed and the appointment for a driving test was canceled.
However, she is not disappointed in her job search. She plans to apply at Chipotle or at a fast food restaurant. But she understands that there are obstacles.
“I think it can be a little complicated because of what happens to the virus and all the protests.”
Work quarantine violation
Krishna Potaray, 16, and his mother, Donna Beveridge, have been careful since the coronavirus began to spread, stopping at its home in Houston, Texas, beginning in mid-March.
Medical panic intensified their anxiety. Beverig was hospitalized with acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia almost three years ago.
“I’m not so worried about myself,” said Potaraju, adding that he is involved in sports and is in good health. “It’s just that if I bring it home to my mom … I’m really worried about it.” ”
But when he told his mother that he wanted new clothes and a car, she said that he needed to get a job. She found out about the situation at the local bakery, filed an application with Potaraj, and now he spends six hours a day washing dishes, cutting cookies and taking out cupcakes for customers.
His first work taught him some unexpected lessons.
“I have to say, I thought I was going to earn about $ 100 a day,” he says, adding that he earns $ 9 an hour. “I did not know how much they would take in taxes and how long they really wanted six hours.”
He also sees that his hours have shrunk as the bakery recruits more employees.
But since most gyms are closed, and his mother still does not want him to communicate in the midst of a pandemic, Potaraju’s work is one undoubted summer full of unknowns.
“Most likely I’ll go to work all day,” he says, “and then I’ll come home, rest and have dinner with my mother.”
This story is the first in a series of articles about workers, families, and business owners struggling with the coronavirus pandemic in the summer of 2020.
Contribution: Dalvin Brown, Paul Davidson
Follow Charissa Jones on Twitter @charissejones
This article originally appeared in the USA TODAY: Unemployment: Teens struggle to find work in summer during COVID-19