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Family 411: Helping teens find jobs

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. (Sheila Gray) -- The job market for high school and college students is at its worst.
Right now, only about one in four has a job.  Parents can give their kids an edge to help them earn money.  18-year-old Megan Sullivan has already been working for two years.

Dan Sullivan said, "These are things which aren't taught in school anymore."

"Being able to work with different kinds of people and deal with customers who walk in the door," Megan says.
Her parents were all for it when Megan told them she had a job.

Her mother Debbie Sullivan said, "It's the responsibility.  It's what the real world is going to be."

Sam Dressman said, "Working teaches you, you definitely have to work for things."
Sam Dressman's parents encouraged him to find a job.

Laura Dressman tells Local 12's Sheila Gray, "I think it's opened his eyes to what it's like to earn a living."
But Northeastern University in Boston says many young people aren't picking up important experiences because teen employment is even lower than it was during the recent recession.  These days high school and college aged students are finding stiff competition from people their parents' and even their grandparents' age.  But there are some things parents can do to help their kids get a foot in the door.

Susanna Wong said, "As an employer, it makes a big difference to see a kid who's willing to work hard and not thinking there's some task or job that, they're too cool for that."

Angela said, "They can teach them to be responsible for their own schedules."

Mike Wong advises, "Smiling and greeting the people, very important."
Laith Barakat says he's learned how to interact with all kinds of people, but even more important he says, "Time management."

Tansy Barakat said, "He's living a very adult schedule, and it gives them an opportunity to figure out how to do it on their own."
That time is not far away for these young workers.  Their parents and their employers believe the success the teens achieve here will push them toward success in college and beyond.  Northeastern University says youth unemployment is an even bigger concern for low income teens.  Those who can't find jobs are more at risk for turning to crime, abusing drugs and winding up in juvenile detention.

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