Help Wanted: TWC tackles youth unemployment - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Help Wanted: TWC tackles youth unemployment

Provided by Workforce Solutions South Plains:

Area employers need to begin filling open summer positions now to prepare for the upcoming surge in the need for quality employees in service industries such as retail, restaurant and other full and part-time employment needs.  Employers who register with Workforce Solutions South Plains will have the opportunity to have candidates who have already been prescreened and matched to their employment needs, applying for those open positions.

Youth unemployment is a cause for concern because without work experiences many youth will lack soft work skills, such as knowing how to interact with employers and coworkers, and they will not be able to develop specific job skills that will make them marketable in the workplace as adults.

Statistics and basic resource information for consideration:

I.  According to the Dept of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Only 21 out of every 100 teens in low-income families had a job this past summer.
  • 48.8 percent of youth between the ages of 16 to 24 were employed in July 2011, the month when youth employment usually peaks- significantly lower than the 59.2 percent who were employed five years ago; and the 63.3 percent 10 years ago.
  • Minority youth had an especially difficult time finding employment this past summer. Only 34.6 percent of African American youth and 42.9 percent of Hispanic youth had a job this past July.

II. As summer approaches, the number of teenagers looking for work increases dramatically.

  • According to a 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study, the number of 16- to 19-year-olds employed or searching for work last year skyrocketed between April and July, increasing by more than 1.6 million workers to a total of almost 7 million in July.

III. Teens interested in job-search assistance and career resources should contact Workforce Solutions South Plains toll free at 1-866-765-5038 or by visiting

IV. Employers should go to to review wage and hour laws and regulations enforced by the U.S. Dept of Labor.

V. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) supports a market-driven system through the provision of services targeted to meet employers' needs and through services tailored for the unemployed, the underemployed, at-risk youth and those who have received a notice of termination, with special emphasis placed on the economically disadvantaged.

VI. The National Career Readiness Certificate program helps  employers who participate by providing them with potential employees -  youth high school juniors, seniors and out-of-school youth  - who have already been assessed for their level and aptitudes for skills needed to be highly-trainable employees. The NCRC initiative also gives youth a resource for gaining leverage when applying for work.

  • Contact David Vasquez, Director of Business Talent Development, Workforce Solutions South Plains, (806) 252-0067, for more information. 

VII.Of special concern are out-of-school youth.

  • Qualifications:
  • Generally between the ages of 18 and 21, but can be as young as 16.
  • Is a school dropout or; has graduated or holds a GED, but is skills deficient, unemployed or under-employed.
  • They are a vulnerable population with complex needs. Many face dim employment prospects and uncertain futures.

Workforce Solutions South Plains offers solutions:

  • Educational, job-skills and on-the-job training.
  • Career planning and Counseling
  • Help with resume writing and job interview skills and registering with
  • Call 1-866-765-5038 or visit  for more information.

Teens, parents and employers should educate themselves on child labor laws, including safety regulations.

  • Children 11 and up may deliver newspapers to customers on established routes
  • Children aged 14 or 15 may perform:Office, clerical, some kitchen work, cashiering, bagging groceries and carry-out, as long as it takes place during certain hours.
  • Children ages 16 to 17 can perform work for any number of hours as long as it is not deemed hazardous by the Dept.  of Labor.

Visit TWC's site at to learn more about child labor laws, and more free online job resources.

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