Here is some good news for Lawrence teens and college students still looking for jobs: it’s going to be easier than last summer.
At least that’s what the owner of a local hiring agency in Lawrence thinks. Shirley Martin-Smith, franchise owner of Adecco, said that although the job market is competitive, more jobs are available this summer than in years past.
Adecco hires temporary and seasonal employees for Lawrence businesses and the service is free for students. Martin-Smith said she usually recruits recent high-school graduates to work restaurant and banquet jobs. College students usually work as administrative assistants, such as receptionists or data entrants.
She also suggested that students leaving Lawrence this summer should use online applications to find jobs before they return home.
“Today’s world of summer employment is so much easier than it used to be because of the Internet,” Martin-Smith said.
Summer employment figures have dipped in the past decade. Northwestern University’s Center for Market Studies reports that 27 percent of teens will have a job during the summer months this year. In 2000, the number was 40 percent.
Kansas University students living in Lawrence this summer can use the University Career Center. The UCC assists KU students in getting part-time and seasonal full-time jobs. Students can log onto the website, www.kucareerhawk.com, and view job posts from employers in and around Lawrence.
According to Allie Beal, UCC part-time job coordinator, 35 jobs have been posted since May compared with 15 last summer. Beal said the UCC helped 300 students find jobs last year.
“Quite a few employers said they hired at least one or two students,” Beal said.
Michael Garofalo, a KU sophomore, was recently hired at a downtown restaurant. He said he visited about a dozen businesses — some gave him applications; others told him they weren’t hiring — before he found the job.
“I basically strolled up Mass. Street,” Garofalo said. “It’s been tedious.”
The city of Lawrence is hiring seasonal positions, including lifeguards and referees for summer leagues. Twenty-eight seasonal jobs are currently listed on the city’s site, www.lawrenceks.org/jobs. Applications are only accepted online, and a valid email address is necessary.
Martin-Smith said she encouraged students to contact staffing agencies because it’s a free service and can help students find work upon returning home for the summer. She also suggested an open mind.
“Be flexible and try to think outside the box,” she said. “Just try to think about what your experience is and where it might apply.”