Summer Work for Teens

High-schoolers seeking summer jobs are finding competition from college students and even adults. Based on last year's statistics, analysts are saying this could be the worst summer for teen employment in more than 30 years.

Job-hunting teens need persistence and decent résumés to stand out. But if they face too many unanswered applications, some teens might decide to just hang out. That possibility has some cities on edge. Bored teens could bring a spike in crime and a long summer for communities.

Milwaukee, faced with cuts in summer school and summer programs, is using a federal block grant to bring government and business together to create summer jobs for low-income teens. Even with tight budgets, other cities might find it a useful model.

Another idea is for jobless teens to do volunteer work or unpaid internships. Breaking out of peer groups to help others is valuable experience. Teaching a senior citizen how to surf the Net or getting involved in a day camp for younger kids will bring added worth to a résumé.

Keeping teens involved and off the streets should be a community effort. Parents, relatives, neighbors, and local businesses need to do their part to help local youths stay connected in productive ways.

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