Desperate Employers Hunting Down Teens for Summer Jobs

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN-  For most Basin teens, school is out for the summer. For many of them, it's now time to hunt down that dreaded summer job. However, this year, the search won't be that difficult. These days, employers are hunting down teens.

O'Reilly Auto Parts is desperate for more employees. Manager Robert Gonzales says, "We've been having a lot of trouble trying to keep people or hire people to come onboard."

O'Reilly Auto Parts, along with hundreds of other area employers, are partnering up with Workforce Solutions of the Permian Basin and the Limitless Program to find some much needed summer help.

Workforce Solutions Project Director Remelle Farrar told NewsWest 9 what teens want to know.

"What are employers looking for? What do they expect of you? How do you do a really good job at an interview and land the job you want?," she says.

Those are just some of the questions that will be answered in a free workshop this week for job-seeking teens.

Right now, there are 954 summer jobs openings in the Basin. Just a little more than 225 teens have enrolled in the workshop, leaving more than 729 vacant positions that need to be filled.

Workforce Solutions says employers will bend over backwards to accommodate teens this summer, offering market-rate wages, training, scholarships, flexible hours and even daycare.

Farrar adds, "One thing that's really surprising is what fast-food jobs pay in the Basin."

Some places like McDonalds are offering up to $14 an hour as a starting wage.

The jobs are not limited to fast-food. There are also positions open in places ranging from engineering firms to country clubs.

Workshop information:

Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Midland Center (free)

Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Odessa College (free)