Hudson Valley Parent

HVP May 2017

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24 Hudson Valley Parent n May 2017 Specializing in children from infancy to teens Children with special needs welcome Sedation Dentistry available Child friendly environment with video games, Netflix TV and playhouse Most insurances accepted as full or partial payment. By ELORA TOCCI L isa Berger's current job as the di- rector of the Ulster County Office of Employment & Training and Ulster County Workforce Develop- ment Board is a far cry from her first job picking strawberries on a farm. Still, that first job was invaluable for the skills and lessons it taught her about work that she now passes on to young people. "Those first jobs teach time man- agement, how to be reliable, respon- sibility to others," she says. "All of those carry on throughout your life." Between skill development and making some money, teens have much to gain when they get a part- time or seasonal job, Berger says. But sometimes teens are unsure where to begin as many of the jobs tradition- ally filled by teenaged workers in the past are no longer an option. According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2015, "the summer employment rate for 16- to 17-year-olds was 20 percent, less than half the level it was at as recently as the year 2000." Opportunities exist But for teens who do want to work, there are some options out there. "A great thing for 16 and 17-year- olds to do is get a certification so they can work as lifeguards," Berger says. Tara Burke, the recreation direc- tor for the town of Rosendale, says that the cost of certification, as well as the fact that there are very few places in the Hudson Valley that offer the certification course, means that lifeguards are in high demand. Burke says that she must fill three shifts a day, seven days a week. The town hires lifeguards as young as 15 and 16 years old. And although there are still open positions to be filled, Burke says applicants must put their best foot forward if they want to land a job. "Come in with a sense of commit- ment, a willingness to learn and show us you are trainable," she says. Berger also recommends dressing professionally when asking for and returning an application. "You don't need to wear a suit, but make sure you are dressed neat- ly and appropriately," she says. "First impressions really matter." Age can be an asset Splashdown Beach Waterpark in Fishkill hires teens as young as 16 years old to fill operations and life- guard positions. Their grounds and maintenance departments require job candidates to be 18. "A majority of our employees are teenagers," says Splashdown's Assis- tant General Manager Taryn Eisen- man. "At least 65 percent of our staff are under the age of 20. We have numerous departments with open positions currently." The general manager of Burger King in Newburgh, Amanda Hernan- dez, said that she loves hiring teen- agers to work at the restaurant, who make up the majority of her staff. "I get three or fours years out of them," she says, about avoiding turnover and having to train new staff members. She advises potential applicants, who must be at least 16 years old, to dress well, make eye contact and en- gage enthusiastically when coming in to fill out an application. And because it can be more diffi- The job hunt: teen edition

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