EARLY YEARS: Virginia Career Works offers tips for teen job seekers this summer

Graduation Carnival is happening Tuesday, June 6 for William Fleming and Patrick High School graduating seniors, as they search for employment
Graduation Carnival happening Tuesday to help connect Roanoke City grads with employers
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:08 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Graduation season is here, and that means a lot of teens are on the job hunt.

Tuesday, June 6, a Graduation Carnival and job fair for Roanoke City graduates will offer some opportunities for employment.

“We’ve got about 30 employers signed up to be there to help people look for jobs- whether it’s summer, part time, and for those who may not be going on to college, perhaps some full-time work,” says Toni McLawhorn, Business & Development Manager for Virginia Career Works Greater Roanoke.

McLawhorn says it’s important for young people to start working early.

“It develops a work ethic. It helps them start saving,” says McLawhorn.

To help teens get a jump start on those money and time management skills, Virginia allows teens as young as 14 to get a worker’s permit.

“There is an application that has to be completed before-- the individual has to find a job, an employer that will agree to hire them. But before they can be hired, the employer and the parent to fill out some forms to allow the student to work before they turn 16,” she says.

There’s a variety of places that will hire teenagers, depending on the individual responsibilities.

“Anything that’s really dangerous, you know, if they’re using knives and cooking, and things like that, sometimes they’re not allowed to do those kinds of jobs. But answering the telephone, customer service, those types of jobs they could potentially get,” she says.

Bottom line, McLawhorn says teens shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job.

“I will tell you there are employers in every type of establishment in this valley that need people, so I would encourage them to start looking now, and just keep on keeping on,” says McLawhorn.

She says the best thing for parents to do, just give their teen an encouraging nudge.

“Maybe Google what some jobs could be that that go after based on their interests. Just that encouragement to get up and go try, says McLawhorn.

You can learn more about teen worker permits by clicking this link.

Again, the Graduation Carnival for graduating Roanoke City seniors is happening Tuesday, June 6 in the Goodwill Industries Parking lot on Melrose Avenue in Roanoke from 3 to 6 pm.

It’s being sponsored by Goodwill Industries, TAP, and the Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board.