School is out which means it’s time for some fun in the sun but for some local teens, they’re ready to get to work.
“The job market has been a little crazy. We still have more jobs than we have people to fill the jobs. Summer jobs are always important,” said Workforce Solutions of Central Texas Director of Industry and Education Partnerships Charley Ayres.
Some would like extra spending money and others want to get their feet wet in the workforce and Central Texas has plenty of opportunities.
“Lifeguards get $14 an hour," said Ayres. "We can certify you here. Our aquatics manager is a lifeguard certifier. It cost $150 to get certified. If you work with the city of Killeen and work 200 hours, which averages out to 20 hours a week, we will reimburse you for the cost of certification."
Especially in Killeen where they are looking for nearly 30 lifeguards.
“As COVID hit, certifications we’re extended. Those teens who were lifeguards 2, 3, or 4 years ago are moving more into the professional work world,” said Parks & Recreation Manager Joseph Dyer.
Dyer said there’s a nationwide shortage of lifeguards and since the Killeen Family Aquatic Center draws in thousands of kids every summer, it’s important to have all hands on deck.
“... We wanna have as many certified lifeguards on staff as possible to make sure we’re providing that safe environment,” said Dyer.
For some, getting that first job sounds challenging and confusing at the same time. Ayres said the Taking Flight program by Workforce Solutions of Central Texas helps young adults find a job suited for them.
“The key component to the program is we’ll pay for the first 280 hours of their salary and workers comp so the employer is not out any expense. What we ask of the employer is they become a mentor to that individual, that they kind of help coach them and let them know what employer expectations are,” said Ayres.
Ayres said after those 280 hours are finished, the employer has an option to hire the worker full or part-time.