Teenage Labor Force

Our oldest, Michael, was interviewed for Richard Craver's story in the Winston-Salem Journal about the difficulty teens are having finding work.

Being an early weekend riser wasn't exactly what Michael Lowder had in mind when he began pursuing a part-time job for the summer before heading to UNC Charlotte this fall.

But after filling out dozens of online applications and getting only two responses, Lowder, 18, said he felt fortunate to be hired for the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekend shift for the breakfast buffet at Embassy Suites

Lowder's experience is all too familiar to working-age teens and adults trying to find temporary or permanent employment in the tight job market.

Like many adults with jobs, Lowder landed his position primarily because of networking, in his case a neighbor who is in management at Twin City Quarter.

When asked his advice for other teens, Lowder said don't be afraid to ask a neighbor or a friend's parent who runs a business if they need help.

"Honestly, I got lucky," Lowder said. "It seems, at least from the combined experiences of my friends, that small businesses are your best bet for employment."

I have to say I've been proud of Michael for dragging himself out of bed at 5:15 every Saturday and Sunday morning, and now that school's over, several days in between. It's not easy, but at least he has a job and that makes him one of the lucky ones.

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