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Corvallis Teens Can’t Find Summer Jobs

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A new report reveals summer jobs for teens are disappearing.  So how hard is it for local teens to find a job?

Some students at Corvallis High School say they feel they’re at a bigger disadvantage than others trying to find a summer job because they say they’ve noticed employers are looking to hire college students for the summer, instead of high schoolers.

“It was kind of hard. I applied for like 15 places and I never got one, and then I finally had an offer and I took it,” said Corvallis HS student Brandon Miller.

He’s one of the lucky ones. A new report says fewer than three in ten American teenagers now hold jobs from June to August.

“It doesn’t really matter how good you are at a certain thing or what your credentials are or how qualified you are for the job. There’s just nothing out there for you,” said Corvallis HS student Kristen Beckman.

Teens in Corvallis all seem to have the same hunch about why they’re not getting jobs.

“I think it’s because there are so many college students because it’s a college town,” Beckman said.

“I’ve sent in my applications to a few places and they’re just looking for college students right now, and I’m hoping during the summer time when they all leave I can apply to some of those places again and get a job,” said Corvallis HS student Chris Bakkom.

“There’s a lot of college people in this town because this is a college town, and they need to support themselves, too. So there’s not really much out there,” said Corvallis HS student Claire Briggs.

High school career counselors say they’ve noticed a huge decline in jobs available for teens.

“It’s a catch-22. They want them to have experience so that when they get ready for the real career, they have it, but they can’t get the experience,” said Corvallis HS Career Education Assistant Donna Keim.

Some places, like the Osborn Aquatic Center, are looking to help teenagers get that experience.

“We’re looking for responsible, skilled lifeguards, and age really doesn’t have much of a determination on that,” said Recreation Coordinator Mike Fischer with the Osborn Aquatic Center.

Other places like Corvallis Parks and Rec purposely hire high schoolers to help with summer camps.

“They want to work and they don’t have the experience, and we try to let them have that opportunity to kind of get their foot in the water,” said Corvallis Recreation Coordinator Chelsea Tibbles.

High school career counselors say they anticipate the job market to get even worse for teens in Corvallis as OSU is expected to continue to grow.

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