Sunday, May 20, 2001

Young people find success getting all kinds of jobs

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Conswalla Mosley went to only one place Saturday while on a job-hunting trip. But it was the right place.

        The 18-year-old University of Cincinnati freshman was hired to work at Paramount's Kings Island less than 30 minutes after she filled out an application. She will be working full time on a rotating shift in food services.

[photo] Job seekers wait outside Taft High School to get into the fair.
(Mike Simons photos)
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        About 3,200 other young people hoped for similar success at the 2001 Youth Employment Fair at Taft High School, West End.

        The school auditorium and library were packed as representatives from the Hamilton County Community Action Agency, the Urban League and the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative processed applicants for 3,000 jobs, created under Mayor Charlie Luken's Youth Initiative Program.

        Mayor Luken worked with local companies and organizations to raise $2 million to create the jobs for 14- to 25-year-olds after the worst riots in Cincinnati since 1968.

        A medical team was available to give exams. Banks were available to open accounts. Career counselors and college recruiters were there to help in career selection.

        Classrooms on the first and second floors were transformed into employment offices for 27 companies. Many of the agencies came with a goal of finding talented workers.

        “We came prepared to hire 200 people today,” said Shelley Parks, area manager of recruitment for Par amount's Kings Island. “We have jobs in food service, merchandising, entertainment ushers, parking attendants and campground work.”

[photo] Markita Ballard, 14, fills out an application.
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        She said the park will hire from 4,000 to 5,000 kids this summer.

        “These are seasonal jobs through

        October,” Ms. Parks said. “We offer parks discounts, flexible schedules to coincide with transportation needs.”

        Ms. Mosley has already worked out her transportation plans.

        “I will catch a bus at Fountain Square,” she said. “Some days I will probably walk to Fountain Square.”

        Donniesha Williams, 21, walked into the classroom where Tri-State Masonry Institute was asking young people to sign up for a career in masonry.

        She gave a resume to Bill Pfeffeile, manpower chairman.

        “The girl is serious,” said Mr. Pfeffeile, who had a constant flow of applicants as he told them that the institute will refer their applications to about 37 companies.

        “We are not looking for part-time or summer employment,” he said. “We want career people who will start at $8 an hour and move up.”

        Seletha Fisher, a human resource recruiter and Bryan Howard, human resources representative, both for United Parcel Service, talked about part-time jobs paying $8.50 and $9.50 an hour.

        “We are looking for sorters and package handlers,” Ms. Fisher said. She said the shifts were 3:30-8:30 a.m. and 4-9:30 p.m.

        “There is no weekend work,” she said. “(We offer) paid vacations and holidays and full-time benefits. We train and we pay every Friday.”

        Mr. Howard said he could not say exactly how many jobs are available but that they continually hire from five to 10 people every two weeks.

        Nathaniel Wilkins, assistant director with the Recreation Commission, said the agency needs at least 50 lifeguards, 15 and over, to be trained for when the pools open in June. They will make $7.50 an hour.

        Marsha Watts, vice president of Work Force Development for the Urban League, said 407 applications for 14- and 15-year-olds were processed Saturday.

        “Those we didn't get a chance to get to were told to call the office next week,” Ms. Watts said. “This is just the beginning. Once we get a work permit from their schools, we start processing the applicants. We expect to have them on 150 sites by June 11.”


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- Young people find success getting all kinds of jobs
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