Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, June 18 2012 at 4:21 PM, Updated: Mon, June 18 2012 at 4:39 PM
With school out, many teens are now looking for summer jobs...and they're facing a very tight job market.
16 year old Blake Preston is looking for his first summer job.
"I usually help my grandparents here and there at the house, but I decided I need some extra money for gas, or something like that."
But with unemployment at 11.3% in Klamath County, youth employment counselor Tiffany Preston notes those jobs aren't easy to find...
"With the economy the way it is, it's pretty tight - but there are jobs available."
Preston adds that a visit to the employment office is a good place to start. "In order to get them a referral, we need to get them registered on the 'i-match' system."
Include basic work skills on your application.
"I can make coffee at my house," Notes Blake. "So I've been trying to get Dutch Bros, or maybe Human Bean."
Fill out job applications completely. Tiffany Preston adds that grammar and spelling count - and so do first impressions...
"It's very important when you go in and pick up an application somewhere, that you're dressed 'interview ready'."
Don't be shy about listing your volunteer experience...
"I help a lot with the community." Says Blake Preston. "I'm involved with the ROTC program at Henley, I help out with the police department here and there."
Sometimes, teens find that in a tight job market, the best way to go is to create their own job. Tiffany Preston notes that simple flyers can advertise your services...
"Like pulling weeds, mowing lawns, walking dogs, babysitting."
Blake Preston know that it's not easy for a 16 year old to get hired...
"Adults need the jobs more than the kids."
And looking for work might be one of the toughest jobs around.
The Oregon Employment Department reports that in 2011, the unemployment rate for Oregon teens aged 16 to 19 was 29.7%.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.